Heads in the clouds
How can the sensitive tissues of a plant withstand the brutal conditions of the mountains? Unlikely as it may seem, many fascinating plants, including the distinctive penwiper, Notothlaspi rosulatum, not only survive but flourish amid the shifting screes and windswept gullies far above the treeline. Alpine plants are among the special treasures the mountains offer those who venture among them.
Growing Alpine Plants, dwarf Perennials and Miniature Bulbs
Growing alpine plants, dwarf perennials and miniature bulbs, in rock gardens, sand beds, raised gardens, troughs and containers
Fig. 49.—Veronica spathulata, growing on scoria desert, base of Ngauruhoe. — Lands Department.] [Photo, L. Cockaync | NZETC
Adaptations of alpine plants Fig. 49.—Veronica spathulata, growing on scoria desert, base of Ngauruhoe.Lands Department.] [Photo, L. Cockaync.
Two species of penwiper plant grow on South Island screes. The largest, Notothlapsi rosulatum, pictured here, consists of a rosette of overlapping fleshy grey leaves. In summer it produces a central stalk of sweet-smelling cream flowers.
Saxifrages (Genus Saxifraga)
Saxifraga is the largest genus in the family Saxifragaceae, containing about 440 species of holarctic perennial plants, known as saxifrages or rockfoils. The Latin word saxifraga means literally 'stone-breaker', from Latin saxum ('rock' or 'stone') + frangere ('to break'). It is usually thought to indicate a medicinal use for treatment of urinary calculi (known as kidney stones), rather than breaking rocks apart. (Source: Wikipedia, '', http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saxifraga, CC BY-SA 3.0…