Flowering plant found at record 4,505m in Swiss alps

May 24, 2011
An helicopter flies above a snowy peak near the village of Bourg-Saint-Pierre in the Swiss Alps in March 2010. A flowering plant has been found at an altitude of above 4,505 metres (14,780 feet) on the central Swiss alps -- a European record, Basel University said Tuesday.

A flowering plant has been found at an altitude of above 4,505 metres (14,780 feet) on the central Swiss alps -- a European record, Basel University said 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 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 (32 degrees Fahrenheit) and that plunge as low as -20.9 degrees Celsius.

In reach a maximum of 18.1 degrees Celsius.

Explore further: Research shows impact of BMR on brain size in fish

Related Stories

Heat wave warms frigid Baltic Sea waters

Jul 23, 2010

A heat wave searing the Baltic region has warmed the usually frigid waters of the Baltic Sea to temperatures usually seen in more tropical climes, experts said Friday.

June Earth's hottest ever: US monitors

Jul 15, 2010

Last month was the hottest June ever recorded on Earth, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday, amid global climate warming worries.

Recommended for you

Research shows impact of BMR on brain size in fish

Apr 24, 2015

A commonly used term to describe nutritional needs and energy expenditure in humans – basal metabolic rate – could also be used to give insight into brain size of ocean fish, according to new research by Dr Teresa Iglesias ...

Why do animals fight members of other species?

Apr 23, 2015

Why do animals fight with members of other species? A nine-year study by UCLA biologists says the reason often has to do with "obtaining priority access to females" in the area.

Dolphins use extra energy to communicate in noisy waters

Apr 23, 2015

Dolphins that raise their voices to be heard in noisy environments expend extra energy in doing so, according to new research that for the first time measures the biological costs to marine mammals of trying ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.