Because weather conditions in the arctic and alpine tundra are unpredictable, plants need to adapt to all sorts of weather. Even in a plants growing period, the tundra can experience snow storms and high speed winds. They have adapted in many ways for survival purposes. One of the survival strategies of plants is their cool growing temperature. Tundra plants can grow at temperatures 15ºC to 20ºC (27ºF to 36ºF) which is cooler than any other plant in the world. Small and low growing plants are also a characteristic of tundra plants. This is because of the lack of nutrients found in the soil. Also being close to the dark, warmth, absorbent soil helps to keep plants from freezing.
Plants are also dark and hairy. The darkness of their flesh absorbs solar heat, and the hair helps to trap the heat and keep it close to the surface of the plant. The warmer the plant the faster they grow. Some plants also grow in clumps in order to break harsh winds and protect each other from the cold. These plants also stay warmer because more of the plant is exposed to the sun.
Plants in clumps remain 20 degrees warmer than the surrounding air. Some plants even have dish-like flowers that track the sun. The dish allows more sun to be focused on the center of the flower. The warmth that the plant attracts, allows it to grow quicker and healthier than other plants.