Taking it to the Extreme

Some flowers need optimal weather conditions to create beautiful blooms that last through an entire season. What makes flowers grow – rain, soil and sunshine – is not always available. However, flowers are good survivors and these flowers have learned to thrive in extreme conditions. Whether it is growing under water or in the depths of the coldest tundra, these plants prove that even the most delicate looking of petals is strong enough to survive the harshest of conditions.

The World’s Oldest Flower

The world’s oldest flower never bloomed, but seeds proved that this flower, named Archaefructus sinensis, which lived 125 million years ago was not only a real flowering plant, but also lived completely submerged in water, according to David Dilcher, a University of Florida paleobotanist who studied the flower. The plant was said to grow about 20 inches in length at the stem with the pollen and petals extending above the water.

Witch-hazel (Hamamelis) In The Snow

Witch Hazel

In early winter, the witch hazel blooms red and yellow flowers that omit a delicate and friendly scent. The nickname of snapping hazel was given to this plant due to the seedpods that split and send seeds 20 feet in the air. The bark and leaves of the witch hazel are often distilled in alcohol and water to create an all purpose remedy for bruises and swellings.

Honey Suckle

The honeysuckle truly lives up to the name that evokes memories of sweet and soft lemon-like aromas when you send flowers to a loved one. The flurry of small white flowers grow from winter into early spring and thrive in very cold weather. A hybrid version of honey-suckle has been nicknamed “winter beauty” making this sprawling plant a perfect addition to the winter holiday.

Arctic Willow

The Arctic Willow is a short and wide shrub that grows very close to the ground in order to avoid the extreme cold winds of the arctic. It has adapted to the permafrost by growing shallow and wide – resembling a carpet cover. In the late summer, the leaves of the willow turn a beautiful deep red, making the ground cover glow with the deep hue of the grandest of roses.

Saxifraga oppositifolia 14-98-45

Purple Saxifrage

The Purple Saxifrage is what is known as a cushion plant, a name given to plants that grow in the cold tundra. This plant is one of the earliest plants to bloom and it often clumps around rocks. The purple star-shaped flowers grow above many leaves that cover the plants stem, which include thousands of tiny hairs to capture heat.