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Antarctic pearlwort Colobanthus quitensis

Keep cool and chill out with this ice, ice baby... at only 50mm tall this tiny pearl is one of only two flowering plants found on the entire Antarctic continent.  

When temperatures reach a balmy zero degrees centigrade, this tiny yet tenacious plant has to work fast to flower and seed in the twelve weeks of the short Antarctic summer. Brilliantly adapted to living in extreme conditions, its cup-shaped yellow and white flowers shine upwards to channel the sun’s rays into their centre, and its tiny leaves help to reduce water loss.

However the Antarctic pearlwort, and its only other flowering neighbour the Antarctic hair grass (Deschampsia Antarctica), may not be alone for much longer... the Antarctic is undergoing an alien invasion.  Exotic species brought in unintentionally by tourists, and from other human activity in the area, are putting these natives at risk. We are working alongside partner organisations to safeguard the incredible wildlife of this wintry continent.

 Adopt now! Your £25 will help keep the Antarctic pearlwort seed collection alive and chilled out in the Millennium Seed Bank ready for an alien-free future.

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