Saturday, 13 March 2010

PLANT: Polemonium boreale, a high arctic species in Spitsbergen

July 13, 2007:
Polemonium boreale (Arctic Jacob's-Ladder) is a scarce plant of circumpolar distribution known from disjunct localities in the arctic regions of the northern hemisphere. It is usually found on dryish, well-drained gravelly slopes forming neat cushions where its relatively large (for an Arctic plant) bright blue flowers stand out against the harsh grey background. The evolution of these highly conspicuous flowers has been a strategy to attract pollinating insects in what is a very short flowering season at such high latitudes. It is probably the most beautiful and most striking plant of the Arctic.

Photographed near Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

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