Plants of the tundra

The vegetation of the tundra is almost entirely composed of perennial plants, camephytic plants (cushion-like plants) and hemicryptophytic plants (perennial herbaceous plants). Cushion-like plants include Ericaceae and saxifrages, while hemicryptophytic plants include sedges. There are no forest trees at all. Shrubs, birches and willows are few and small, to resist frost and strong winds. Mosses, rushes, graminaceous plants and peat mosses (a type of moss which has adapted very well to live in swampy areas) grow in wet areas, where the land is soaked in water.
In summer, many short-stemmed flowers deck the tundra in bright colours. Because of the cold, plants have a very slow growth cycle: the reindeer moss (Cladonia rangiferina), for instance, takes one year to grow just 1-5 mm taller.

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