Vegetation: lichens, mosses, Sedges, Perennial Forbs, dwarfed shrubs, Heaths, Birches & Willows
Growth typical: ground hugging and often warmth-preserving forms including:
-Mats of cushion plants, often Evergreen members of the Heath family
-Dwarf shrubs and trees, some of which are deciduous in habit
-Plant growth is lower than any other biome, except for some deserts
Lichens are typically bare rock pioneers which can be found in all biomes. Lichens are actually an association of fungi and algae which live together as one organism. One type typical to the arctic tundra is Reindeer lichen; which is an important food for many arctic herbivores .
Sedges are a part of the flowering plant family Cyperacaeae. Two important types to the arctic tundra are Carex and Cottongrass (Eriophorum). During cold months, Perennial Forbs are dormant and shrink down to small leaves or die completely. When the growing season returns, the energy stored in the plant's bulbs makes it grow rapidly when the temperature reaches 50ºF (10ºC) and above.
Woody Shrubs are dwarfed because of the extreme cold and winds. They stand only a few inches tall and are protected from extreme weather by only a cover of dead and living non woody plants.
Heaths have hard evergreen leaves that can withstand drying winds and cold temperatures.
Types of common heaths: cranberries, blueberries, and rhododendrons. A common Heath found in the tundra is the Laborador Tea, which stands only two to three inches tall. Another member of the Heath plant family is the Cushion plant. An example of a Cushion plant is the Alpine Azalea. During the harsh weather, the Azalea flowers may experience damage, but the plant itself will continue to survive.
A Rosette is a plant whose leaves surround a central bud, and can survive in many harsh types of environments. During the winter the outside leaves of the plant may die off, but the central bud is still protected by the remaining vegetation.
Scamman's spring beauty is one of the many flowering plants that can be seen peeking through rocks.
Alpine Sorrel, found in both alpine and arctic tundra has spiky flowers, yet edible leaves.