The Arctic avens (Dryas integrifolia) is an evergreen dwarf shrub with multiple large, solitary flowers (2) (3) (5). The flowers are composed of 8 to 11 creamy-white oval petals, with between 40 and 70 stamens in the centre. The stamens have hairless stalks and yellow anthers (3) (4) (6). The flowers are supported by an erect stem which has flaky bark (7). The stems of the Arctic avens intertwine to form the flat, dense mats created by populations of this species (3) (6).
The leaves of the Arctic avens are leathery, with a dark green, hairless upperside and a white underside, which has dense, matted hairs on the surface (4) (7) (8). The smooth outline of the leaves is reflected in the scientific name integrifolia, which means ‘entire leaves’ (9). The lance-shaped leaves have prominent, indented veins on the surface, as well as rolled edges and a pointed tip (3) (7) (8) (9). The leaves of the Arctic avens are arranged in a dense rosette at the base of the stem (2).
The petals inside the scaled buds of the Arctic avens can occasionally appear black due to the dense hairs within. However, these may not always be present and the petals within the bud sometimes appear grey-green (6) (7).
The single-seeded fruit of the Arctic avens is brown and has long hairs on its surface (3) (6).
- Height: 8 - 10 cm (2)
- Leaf length: c. 1 cm (3)
- Flower diameter: up to 3 cm (2)