The icy cold of winter makes way for a surprising amount of diverse plant life in the brief Arctic summer. Plants become shorter and sparser as you move north - small trees and low shrubs in southern Arctic regions change to scattered flowers, grasses, wild berries, mosses and lichens are you travel farther north.
To protect them from cold and strong winds, many Arctic plants have adapted to with “furry” leaves, a small stature and low-growing habit. Others can grow under the snow and flower quickly in the summer to make the most of warmer temperatures.
Plants are a critical part of Arctic biodiversity, providing important sources of food for many animals including Peary caribou, muskoxen and many species of birds.
Learn more about Arctic plants:
Arctic Plant Facts at University of Guelph - Canada's Polar Life
The plant chasers - Parks Canada - Time for Nature article
2001 Annual Report on Research and Monitoring of National Parks of the Western Arctic
2002 Annual Report on Research and Monitoring of National Parks of the Western Arctic