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Plants that grow on mountainous and rocky areas really do have to make a big effort to survive! They are often very exposed and have little or no protection from the powerful winds.

Rocky, mountainous habitat
Courtesy of the EPA

What are mountain conditions?

  1. Exposed to strong winds
  2. Small amount of soil
  3. Few nutrients
  4. Cold winters

How do plants adapt to growing in mountainous habitats?

Short stems Mountain plants tend to have shorter stems so they can avoid getting blown over by the very strong winds.
Wide roots The roots of mountain plants are often spread out very wide. This helps them to get as many nutrients from the rocky ground as possible.
Waxy leaves     Mountain habitats can get very dry, especially when windy, so most plants have developed a waxy layer on their leaves to help keep as much water as possible.
Store heat                            Some mountain plants can store heat as energy. This helps them to grow when it's very cold and snowy in the winter.
Trapping insects Just like the bog sundew plant and the water bladderwort, some mountainous plants also trap insects and absorb them as a source of nutrition e.g. butterwort.