Tundra Facts



  • Tundras are regions so cold and with so little rain that tall trees cannot grow.
  • Tundras are typically covered in snow for at least half the year. Even in summer the soil 1 m or so below the ground may be permanently frozen.
  • The frozen ground stops water draining away and makes tundras marshy and damp.
  • Winter temperatures in the tundra can drop to -40°C. Even summer temperatures rarely reach higher than 12°C on average.
  • Mosses and lichens, grasses and sedges, heathers and low shrubs grow in tundra. Trees only grow in stunted forms such as dwarf willows and ash trees.
  • In spring tundra plants grow quickly and bright wildflowers spread across the ground.
  • Arctic tundras occur in places like Siberia and Canada.
  • Alpine tundras occur high on mountains everywhere.
  • Arctic flowers include saxifrages, Arctic poppies, fireweeds, cinquefoil, louseworts and stonecrops.
  • Alpine flowers are often the same as Arctic flowers. They include mountain avens, gentians, saxifrages and snowbells.