a rearranged translation of Vladimir
Dinets original pages to norwegian,
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Cumulus clouds are rare in tundra skies. Volchya River Delta,
Most of Chukotka is covered with low mountains, but
along the coasts and the great Anadyr River
are extensive areas of lowland tundras.
Summer tundra, Amguema Valley.
Summer tundra, Volchya Valley.
|Typical tundra is the most extensive. In summer (July and
August) it's a soft, bright-green carpet of lichens, herbs and
tiny shrubs, with lots of grasses and sedges in low-lying areas
Spring tundra from the air, Yamal Peninsula.
Tundra up close, Volchya Valley
lakes, Volchya Valley.
|Some tundra shrubs are tiny relatives of northern trees -
birch, willow, and alder. Fall
colors are really beautiful in typical tundra
Arctic birch, Betula nana, Volchya Valley.
Willow, Salix sp, Volchya Valley
|Dwarf Birch. Betula nana, is a species of birch
in the family Betulaceae, found mainly in the tundra of the
Arctic region. It is a shrub growing to 1-1.2 m high. The bark
is non-peeling and shiny red-copper colored.
The leaves are rounded, 6-20 mm diameter, with a bluntly toothed
margin. They become red in the autumn.
The fruiting catkins are erect, 5-15 mm long and 4-10 mm broad.
Cotton grass, Eriophorum sp., Coal Mines, Chukotka.
|Cottongrass, Eriophorum, (Cottonsedge)
is a genus of about 25 species of flowering plants in the family
Cyperaceae, the Sedge family. They are found throughout the
temperate Northern Hemisphere in acid bog
habitats, being particularly abundant in Arctic tundra regions.
They are herbaceous perennial plants with slender, grass-like
leaves. The seed heads are covered in a fluffy
mass of cotton which are carried on the wind to aid dispersal.
Cotton grass is the easiest- to recognize of all tundra sedges.
A dozen species occur on Chukotka, usually in wet areas. Its
seeds need sunny days to spread well.
Cotton grass, Belyaka Spit.
Cotton grass, Amguema Valley.
grass, Cross Bay
Labrador tea, Rhododendron tomentosum,
Golden rhododendron,Rhododendrom aureum,
|Labrador tea, Rhododendron tomentosum,
is another plant that grows all over the lowland tundra, but
mostly confined to marshes and bogs further south. Formerly
known as Ledum palustre, it's been recently
reclassified as a rhododendron, even though it looks different
Rhododendron tomentosum (syn. Ledum palustre),
commonly known as Marsh Labrador tea, northern
Labrador tea or wild rosemary, is a flowering plant in the subsection
Ledum of the large genus Rhododendron
in the family Ericaceae.
It is a low shrub growing to 50 cm (rarely up to 120 cm) tall
with evergreen leaves 12-50 mm long and 2-12 mm broad. The flowers
are small, with a five-lobed white corolla, and produced several
together in a corymb 3-5 cm diameter. They emit strong smell
to attract bees and other pollinating insects.
In North America it is found growing in northern latitudes in
Greenland, Canada, and Alaska, in Europe in the northern and
central parts, and in Asia south to northern China, Korea and
Japan. It grows in peaty soils,
shrubby areas, moss and lichen tundra.
Lapland rhododendron, Rhododendron lapponicum parviflorum,
rhododendron, Rhododendron lapponicum,
A low, mat-forming, evergreen shrub with scaly twigs
and few-flowered clusters of bell-shaped, pink to lavender flowers.
Lapland rhododendron is an aromatic,
mat-forming, dwarf shrub, often only 2 in. high; seldom more
than 12 in. high. Close-ranked, oblong, dark-green
leaves with rusty scales occur on the thick stems and knotty
branches. One to five, purple, fragrant flowers
appear in terminal clusters at the ends of the branchlets.
This little, mat-forming shrub is one of the first showy
alpine species to flower.
Other species of this genus are a bit less common on Chukotka,
but much more showy. They prefer drier habitats
Lapland rhododendron, Cross Bay.
Kamchatka rhododendron, Cross Bay.
Kamchatka rhododendron, Rhododendron camtschaticum,
Other plants of heather family often cover extensive areas of tundra
rhododendron, Rhododendron camtschaticum
is more difficult to spell right than it is to grow,
if you can provide the conditions it demands.
Looking at this rather rarely grown deciduous rhododendron
in subgenus Therorhodion for the first time one
would have a hard time deciding to which genus it belongs,
though Rhododendron would surely come to mind.
A very curious and beautiful rhododendron it has obovate leaves
with bristly margins and leafs out periously
early if you are prone to late frost in early May. Virtually
prostrate in my garden it rises no higher than about
7cm. and forms a mat about 50cm. across after more than 20
Unlike most rhododendrons it is mildly stoloniferous. Plants
with no apparent flower buds in Autumn shock and
confound all with an eruption of bloom the following spring.
The clever buds were there all along, neatly tucked
away inside the woody stems and embedded in springs
first green shoots. In bloom the 4-5cm flowers are
reminiscent of pansies dancing above the mat on stout little
pedicels, quite a magical effect.
by John Weagle, Halifax,
Nova Scotia , http://www.rhododendron.no/Artikler/2003-1-jw.htm
Arctic bell-heather, Eriophorum tetragona,
Arctic bell-heather, Anadyr area.
Jacob's ladder, Polemonium acutiflorum, Cross Bay.
Tall Jacob's ladder, Cross Bay..
Blue flowers are relatively uncommon
on the tundra.
Tiny Forget-me-not, Eritrichium villosum,
But in some places, they form beautiful
"lakes" of color
Tall Jacob's ladder, Cross Bay.
Aconitum productum, Anadyr.
Eritrichium nanum, Cross Bay.
Delphinium chamissonis, Anadyr.
White, pink, and yellow flowers are much more common in the lowlands,
while red and yellow dominate the slopes
|Aconitum known as aconite, monkshood,
wolf's bane, leopard's bane, women's bane, Devil's helmet or
is a genus of over 250 species of flowering plants
belonging to the buttercup family Ranunculaceae.
These herbaceous perennial plants are chiefly natives of the
mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere, growing in
moisture retentive but well draining soils on mountain meadows.
Their dark green leaves lack stipules.
They are palmate or deeply palmately lobed with 57 segments.
Each segment again is 3-lobed with coarse sharp
teeth. The leaves have a spiral or alternate arrangement. The
lower leaves have long petioles.
The tall, erect stem is crowned by racemes of large blue, purple,
white, yellow or pink zygomorphic flowers with
numerous stamens. They are distinguishable by having one of
the five petaloid sepals (the posterior one), called the
galea, in the form of a cylindrical helmet; hence the English
name monkshood. There are 210 petals, in the form of
nectaries. The two upper petals are large. They are placed under
the hood of the calyx and are supported on long stalks.
They have a hollow spur at their apex, containing the nectar.
The other petals are small and scale-like or non-forming.
The 35 carpels are partially fused at the base.
The fruit is a follicle, a follicle being a dry, unilocular,
many-seeded fruit formed from one carpel, and dehiscing by the
ventral suture in order to release seeds.
Eritrichium nanum, - While looking for info on this plant,
we found this report from an expedition in the Swiss Alps, and
we think it says more about the 'forget-me-not' plant than anything
Please forgive us if any copyright involved.:
|Always a botanical highlight of a Swiss Alpine expedition,
this little cushion plant of the Boraginacaea family was
growing in the most inhospitable terrain at 10,000 feet
in an environment of acid rocks, snow gullies and receding
glaciers. At this site on Piz Nair it was accompanied
by yellow Saxifraga exarata (White Musky Saxifrage), pink
Androsace alpina (Alpine Rock Jasmine), greeny yellow
Minuartia sedoides (Mossy Cyphel), white Ranunculus glacialis
(Glacier Crowfoot) and deep blue Gentiana bavarica (Bavarian
Gentian) with some of the largest blooms on Geum reptans
(Creeping Avens) which we encountered during a week in
It was an astounding rock garden of all the colours
in a stunning setting. In spite of this, other tourists,
oblivious to the flowering plants, walked all over them
to try to get a view of the distant mountains. Had this
been a site in the British isles no-one would have been
allowed near it; a bossy warden would have warned of
penalties for unauthorised access and we would have
taken photos with telephoto lenses only.
Yet the plants flourish. Perhaps tourists distribute
seed over the plateau and help to retain the diversity
of the population.
Eritrichium nanum is a circumpolar alpine which
occurs in North American Rockies as well as the European
Alps. It can be deep blue, powder blue, pale blue or
even white. It was thought to be mostly self pollinated
but recent studies have shown that small flies pollinate
the plants effectively even at this altitude.
or more commonly know as Chamissos Larkspur, is a forb/herb
(a forb/herb is a non-
woody plant that is not a grass) of the genus Delphinium. Its
duration is perennial which means it will grow year after year.
Delphinium Chamissonis or Chamissos Larkspurs floral
region is North America US Lower 48, specifically in the
state of Alaska.
Androsace chamaejasme, Cross Bay.
Sweet-flower rock-jasmine, Belyaka Spit.
|Androsace is the second largest genus in the
Primulaceae. It is a predominantly Arctic-alpine genus with
many species in the Himalayas (where the genus originated),
the mountains of central Asia, the Caucasus, and the southern
and central European mountain systems, particularly the Alps
and the Pyrenees.
Recent molecular studies show that the genera Douglasia (found
in north-western North America and easternmost Siberia), Pomatosace
(an Himalayan endemic) and Vitaliana (a European endemic) belong
Plants of this genus are sometimes known as rock jasmines or
fairy candelabras and are widely cultivated by horticulturists
for their dense cushions covered in white or pink flowers. There
are about 110 species.
Red sandwort, Minuartia rubella,
Cerastium sp., Cross Bay.
Great wildflower displays don't occur every year. Some summers
are cold and rainy,
sandwort, Minuartia rubella
is a species of flowering plant in the pink family known by
several common names, including beautiful sandwort, Arctic sandwort,
and boreal stitchwort. It has a circumboreal distribution, occurring
throughout the northernmost Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic
Circle on the Arctic tundra into the alpine climates of mountainous
areas in temperate Eurasia and North America. It grows in rocky,
moist, often barren habitat, including gravelly, sparsely vegetated
slopes with little organic matter. It is a calciphile, growing
in calcareous substrates such as soils rich in decomposed limestone.
This is a small, mat-forming perennial herb growing in a low,
tight clump of hairy, glandular herbage. The green, three-veined
leaves are needlelike or flattened, no more than a centimeter
long and a millimeter wide. The plant blooms in summer with
tiny flowers made up of pointed sepals under 4 millimeters long
and five white petals
roughly the same length or slightly smaller.
Mouse-ear chickweed, Cerastium is a genus
of annual, winter annual, or perennial plants belonging to the
family Caryophyllaceae. The around 100 species are commonly
called Mouse-ear chickweed; different species are found nearly
worldwide but the greatest concentration is mainly from the
northern temperate areas of the world.
A number are common weeds in fields and on disturbed ground.
campion, Silene acaulis, or Cushion
Pink is a small mountain-dwelling wildflower that is common
over the high arctic and tundra in the higher mountains of Eurasia
and North America, (south to the Alps, Carpathians, southern
Siberia, Pyrenees, British Isles, Faroe Islands, Rocky Mountains).
It is a evergreen perennial.
Moss campion is a low, ground-hugging plant.It may seem densely
matted and moss-like. The dense cushions are up to a foot or
more in diameter. The plants are usually about 2" tall
but may be as much as 6". The bright, green leaves are
narrow and arise from the base of the plant. The dead leaves
from the previous season persist for years, and pink flowers
are borne singly on short stalks up to 1 and 1/2" long,
but are usually much shorter. It usually has pink flowers and
very rarel they will be white. The flowers are solitary and
star-shaped. They are about 1.2 cm wide. They usually appear
in June through August. The flowers are held by a calyx which
makes it firm and thick. The flowers are pollinated by Lepidoptera
and are hermaphrodites meaning they are both sexes.
the snow doesn't melt until July, and there are few flowers. Snow
can fall at any time of the year
Common wintergreen, Pyrola minor, Cross Bay.
Western bistort, Polygonum bistorioides, Cross Bay.
|Common wintergreen, Pyrola minor,
known by the common names snowline wintergreen and lesser
wintergreen, is a plant species of the genus Pyrola. It has
a Circumboreal distribution and can be found
throughout the northern latitudes of Eurasia and North America.
Western bistort, Polygonum bistortoides (American
bistort, smokeweed or mountain meadow knotweed),
syn. Bistorta bistortoides, is a perennial herb in the genus
It is distributed throughout the Mountain West in North America
from Alaska and British Columbia south into California and
east into the Rocky Mountains. The plant grows from montane
foothills to above the timberline, although plants growing
above 7,500 feet are smaller and seldom reach more than 12
inches in height. Plants in other areas may reach over half
a meter-1.5 feet tall. The leaves are leathery and up to 40
and are mostly basal on the stem. The dense cylindrical to
oblong inflorescence is packed with small white
to pinkish flowers, each a few millimeters wide and with protruding
American bistort was an important food plant used by American
Indians living in the Mountain West, and the
roots are edible either raw or fire-roasted with a flavor
resembling chestnuts. The seeds can be dried and
ground into flour and used to make bread. They were also roasted
and eaten as a cracked grain.
Bering Sea spring beauty, Claytonia acutifolia,
Russkaya Koshka Spit.
Arctic daisy, Arctanthemum arcticum, Dionisia Cape.
The summer of 2007, when most photos on this page were taken, was
warm and sunny,
Sea spring beauty, Claytonia acutifolia, is found
on tundra and stony slopes of bald mountains.
Marshy ground in moss and lichen tundra and alder and birch
thickets, scree and talus of mountain slopes,
sea level to 2000 metres. It is spread over Northwestern N.
America to Asia in the Arctic circle.
Claytonia acutifolia is a Perennial growing to 0.2
m (0ft 8in). It is in flower from May to July, and the seeds
ripen in May. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male
and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.
The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils
and requires well-drained soil.The plant prefers acid soils.
and can grow in very acid soils. It cannot grow in the shade.It
requires moist soil.
so wildflower blooms were splendid
Lousewort, Pedicularis sp, Ioanna River.
Northern saw-wort, Saussurea tilesii, Cross Bay.
|Pedicularis is a genus of perennial green root
parasite plants belonging to the broomrape family Orobanchaceae.
Between 350 and 600 species are accepted by different authorities,
mostly from the wetter northern temperate zones, as well as
from South America. The highest diversity is in eastern Asia,
with 352 species accepted in China alone by the Flora
The common name lousewort, applied to several species, derives
from an old belief that these plants, when ingested, were responsible
for lice infestations in stock.
a genus of about 300 species of flowering plants in the
family Asteraceae, native to cool temperate and arctic regions
of Asia, Europe, and North America, with the highest diversity
in alpine habitats in the Himalaya and central Asia. Common
names include saw-wort and snow lotus, the latter used for a
number of high altitude species in central Asia.
They are perennial herbaceous plants, ranging in height from
dwarf alpine species 510 cm tall, to tall thistle-like
plants up to 3 m tall. The leaves are produced in a dense basal
rosette, and then spirally up the flowering stem.
The flowers form in a dense head of small capitula, often surrounded
by dense white to purple woolly hairs;
the individual florets are also white to purple. The wool is
densest in the high altitude species, and aid in thermoregulation
of the flowers, minimising frost damage at night, and also preventing
ultraviolet light damage
from the intense high altitude sunlight.
one specimen here:
Siberian anemone, Anemone sibirica, Cross Bay.
Arctic summer is intense, but very short.
Oxytropis sp., Vrangel Island.
In August, autumn already begins.
Sea pink, Armeria maritima, Sbornaya River.
delta, Chukotka, Russia.
Part 6. Lowland tundra (continued)
pictures, unless otherwise stated, Copyright © Vladimir