Alpine PlantsLook


Look closer. Click an image to enlarge and see captions. Click again to zoom in. How would you describe the picture?

How have glaciers changed the shape of the land? And how do plants colonize bare surfaces after a glacier melts? 

Blue sky above frozen mountain tops covered with snow and ice.
Icy top of a glacier looking out towards other ice capped mountains. Blue sky in the distance.
High up on a mountain top there is a green slope, a moraine ridge, and ice and snow. Blue sky in the background.
Up on a mountain, a man stands in front of a rock smoothed by glaciers.
A u-shaped mountain valley with a pond or lake at the river at the bottom of the valley. Snow-capped mountains in the distance under a blue sky.
Loose sand, gravel and boulders remaining after a glacier has melted or retreated.
A plant with green leaves and reddish flowers grows among boulders on the ground.
A plant with yellow flowers grows out of a rock.
A green tundra slope surrounded by mountains.
Patches of low-lying green plants are seen growing amidst rocky ground and gravel.
Pink Moss Campion flowers growing on the ground.
A cross-section sample of Moss Campion is held in a human hand.
A butterfly landed with wings open, feeds on the nectar of Moss Campion.
A low-lying flowering plant grows out of rocky gravel.
One plant grows out of another.

How are alpine plants adapted to survive in the harsh conditions of the tundra? 

Saxifrage alpine plant, with white flowers in bloom, growing close to the ground.
Purple flowers blooming on a low-lying plant growing amidst rocks.
Plant with yellow flowers growing amidst gravel.
Small plant with rounded green leaves growing close to the ground.
An adult man stands next to a willow growing at a beach.
A Canadian quarter coin placed beside small white alpine flowers.
A white flowering tundra Death Camas grows among smaller green plants.

What do Royal BC Museum botanists want to know about alpine plants?

Map showing the land mass Beringia, which no longer exists.
Arrows pointing to different features of a alpine tundra landscape.
Alpine slope with flowers and mountain in the background.
Four different fossils from different locations in British Columbia.
Snowline on a mountain top. Ice in the foreground and bare mountain tops in the distance.
Museum specimen of Black Alpine Sedge. This is the oldest specimen in the Royal BC Museum botany collection.

How do Royal BC Museum botanists collect plants in the field? 

Man with backpack kneels in an alpine meadow as he collects plants.
A scientist kneels in the foreground placing plants in a carrier, alpine meadow and mountains in the distance.
Close-up of hands pulling a small plant from the ground. A screw driver is held in one of the hands.
A kneeling botanist lays newly collected plants in a portable plant carrier.
Camping and field work equipment are spread out on the ground in an alpine area. There is a snowy mountain in the distance.
Mountains in the background with some snow patches, green meadow in foreground, a person can be seen near the centre of the image.

Please feel free to use these images to educate and inspire in your classrooms. Should you wish to use them for any other purposes, please contact the Permissions and Licensing Office at 250-356-0138 or Toll Free: 1-866-356-0138 or access@royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.