Encrusted saxifrages wind along crevices on cliffs and headlands on the lake’s far northern coast. Like many arctic plants, they conserve warmth and moisture by growing in dense, ground-hugging mats and mounds. Each plant produces a tight rosette of stiff waxy leaves, which secrete lime-rich waters that evaporate into white crusts from pores along their upper borders. Many rosettes are no larger than a silver dollar.
I saw my first rosettes on a windy headland late one June, bearing flowers with deep yellow centers and petals creamy white as the moon. Most rosettes didn't flower. Of those that did, some bore only a handful of blossoms while others bore twenty to thirty blossoms. Flowering or not, the rosettes were a sight to behold, hugging the dark rock with their crusts gleaming in the sun.