The leaves of the Arctic poppy stay green throughout winter, an adaptation to its extreme surroundings. The leaves develop throughout the summer and are able to survive through the winter without withering, retaining their green colouration. As soon as the weather becomes warmer and sunlight is present, the leaves will begin photosynthesis and new leaves become functional, at which point the older leaves will wither, creating a continuous cycle (3).
The air inside the flower of the Arctic poppy rises to several degrees warmer than the outside temperature when the sun is shining. This happens because of the cup-shaped flowers, which focus the sun’s rays onto the centre of the flower and make it a desirable area for flying insects. The bright yellow flowers of the Arctic poppy follow the sun continuously (3), turning to track the daily movements of the sun. This concentrates solar heat on the ovary, warming and speeding the growth of the developing seeds (7).
The Arctic poppy is self-pollinating, creating fertilised seeds with low germination rates (2) (3) (8).