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During the month of January we will continue looking at the wondrous world of the Arctic. Very familiar to us are the animals: polar bear, fox, seal, walrus, beluga, narwhal, bowhead, reindeer, and caribou, among others that inhabit this coldest region. We also learn from an early age of the indigenous cultures, especially the Inuit/Eskimo that inhabit the region—but what about flowers?

Plants, and naturally flowers, have adapted to the harsh conditions (temperature and sunlight offering the greatest challenges) existing in the Arctic in various ways, some even being able to grow for several years completely covered by snow.

In seeking information about plant life in the Arctic I found a website with beautiful photographs of Arctic flowers, with one most unique: the Arctic Cotton Grass with small white tufts of cotton-like fiber. Important to the Inuit culture, the flowers were used to make candles or wicks by combining it with seal fat. The soft fibers were also used for baby diapers. For information on these and other Arctic flowers take a look here and share with your children! Enjoy!!

-Rosemary Rae


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