alpine plants, high-altitude representatives of various flowering plants (chiefly perennials) that because of their dwarf habit, profuse blooming, and the preference of many for shady places are cultivated in alpine and rock gardens. Some species require specially constructed gardens duplicating mountain terrain, including systems for supplying cool water underground, comparable to the melting snows of their natural habitat. Others thrive without special care in favorable conditions (e.g., cool climate, short growing season, and alkaline, rocky soil). Alpine species of gentians, saxifrages, and stonecrops are among those most commonly planted. Many garden plants (e.g., roses, irises, and primroses) have alpine representatives. The edelweiss is a popular alpine.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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