What Plants Live in Cold Climates?

Plants that live in cold climates include saxifrages, willows and ranunculus. Other types of plants that do well in cold climates are pinks and whitlow-grass.

Drabas, or whitlow-grasses, are members of the mustard family. They are often prostrate and form mats of tiny white flowers.

Low, scrubby willows also grow well in cold climates. The polar willow grows in the tundra, which is a cold, dry land where few things grow. The plant has round or oval green leaves and produces catkins like other willows. It flowers from June to early August and is found in late snowbeds, on slopes full of gravel and in sedge meadows.

Minuartia arctica is a type of pink. Related species, M. rubella and M. yukonensis, also thrive in cold climates. They're also called sandworts and stitchworts and form mats with thin, hairy leaves and delicate flowers that can be white, green or purple.

A number of species of saxifrages, including drooping saxifrage, tufted saxifrage, whiplash saxifrage and alpine brook saxifrage, grow in the circumpolar regions. Since they often grow naturally in the clefts of rocks or boulders and have brightly colored flowers, they are especially prized in rock gardens. Ranunculus lapponicus, the Lapland buttercup, has yellow flowers that give it its name.