Editions:  Austria · Denmark · France · Germany · Italy · Norway · Spain · Sweden · Switzerland

'Miracle plant' found at record altitude

Share this article

'Miracle plant' found at record altitude
11:18 CEST+02:00

A flowering plant has been found at analtitude of above 4,505 metres (14,780 feet) on the central Swiss alps – a European record, Basel University said on Tuesday.

"It is almost a miracle, but at 4,505 metres, at 40 metres below the Dom peak in the canton of Valais, the ... Saxifraga oppositifolia has been recently discovered," said the university in a statement.

"It is the highest elevation flowering plant that has ever been documented in Europe, and the location is probably the coldest point in the world where a flowering plant has been found," it added.

The plant, also known as the purple mountain saxifrage, is common in mountainous areas, but it was found for the first time at such high altitude between solid rock by botanist Christian Koerner.

Scientists said that at such an altitude, the plant regularly has to endure night-time temperatures of below zero degrees Celsius and winter temperatures that plunge as low as -20.9 degrees Celsius. In summer temperatures reach a maximum of 18.1 degrees Celsius.


Get notified about breaking news on The Local

Share this article

From our sponsors

Change the world with a master's degree from Sweden's Linköping University

Master's students at world-leading Linköping University (LiU) aren't there simply to study. They solve real-world problems alongside experts in fields that can create a better tomorrow. Do you have what it takes to join them?