The Inuit name for Alpine bistort is Sapangaralannguat, meaning ‘imitation small beads’ after the small, bead-shaped bulbils that fall easily from the plant’s stalk. Unlike seeds, bulbils grow into clones of their parent plants.
An edible plant
Alpine bistort is an edible plant traditionally eaten by both animals and humans. Alpine bistort’s underground roots have a nutty flavour. The starchy parts of Alpine bistort are a favourite food for some Arctic mammals such as lemmings and reindeer.
An Arctic alpine plant
Alpine bistort is a common arctic-alpine plant that grows in meadows and rocky areas. These places with little vegetation are found throughout the Arctic and in arctic-like areas, such as those at high elevations in the mountains, further south.