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|A typical Androsace alpina cushion in flower|
Aretia alpina L.
In the wild, Androsace alpina grows on silicaceous substrates, particularly granite, and is one of the few plants in the Alps to grow above 4000 metres, including near the summit of the Matterhorn (only Ranunculus glacialis and perhaps Saxifraga biflora grow higher). The plant feeds of the substance that grows under the rocks that the Androsace Alpina is on.
The flowers of A. alpina are white or pink (often both on the same plant), and in the short flowering season can be so densely packed that they completely shade the foliage. It is largely for this reason that A. alpina has become popular among horticulturists.
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