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Wapusk National Park of Canada

Alpine Azalea in bloom Alpine Azalea in bloom
© Parks Canada

Vegetation

While it might seem impossible that plants could survive through Wapusk National Park’s harsh winters, when the seasons change, boreal and arctic species flourish, dotting the landscape with colourful flowers. The park is home to over 1000 species of plants! As you travel the landscape, your eyes might fall on dense mats of purple saxifrage, mountain avens, and vibrant Lapland rosebay. You may also feel the soft surface of peat under your feet, formed from the accumulation of partially decayed vegetation in moist environments, which covers approximately 27% of the ground in Wapusk National Park.

In summer, berries are abundant throughout the park, and are a source of food to not only birds and wildlife, but to the people of the area. In late summer and early fall, ripe bearberries cranberries, blueberries, crowberries, cloudberries, and raspberries are abundant.

As the late summer frosts arrive, the landscape changes once again and the park receives a rush of color. The arctic bearberry leaves turn a deep bright red, the tamarack trees become golden, and the lyme grass turns to pastels of yellow and green as the landscape prepares for another long frigid winter.

Stop in and visit the natural garden at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre in Churchill, filled with many of the local plants and trees.

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