Stop 3: Alpine Wildflowers along the Byway

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Hardy, Yet Fragile

These beautiful and resilient wildflowers survive in the harsh high altitudes using remarkable adaptations evolved over thousands of years. Within the few short weeks of the alpine growing season they must survive, grow, prepare to reproduce and flower. Look closely at these various plants…notice they stay small and compact in a tight clump; have hairy stems and leaves to trap heat and protect from wind chill. Some of them have waxy coated protection, deep tap roots and cup shaped flowers. These flowers are hardy survivors, remember to take only pictures, do your best not to trample with footprints and please stay on trails. Some of these species grow only an inch every hundred years.