Main Narrative » Extreme Alpine Plants

Alpine Adaptation: Duck and Cover

By Charles J. Zimmerman

Sep 27 2019

Leaves and flowering stems flattened to the ground and outwardly spreading from a central rosette is one manner of avoiding the damaging and drying effect of extreme winds characteric of highly exposed Alpine fell-fields where Pussy paws (Calyptridium umbellatum) typically grow. Their tightly clustered and hairy bundles of minute flowers—from which these plants receive their common name—also help to insulate their developing reproductive structures.

A Closer Look


Zwinger, A.H. & Willard B.E. (1972). Land Above the Trees. Harper & Row Publishers.