a plant with horizontal shoots close to the ground that may take root in the process of growth. The youngest parts of the shoots and their apical buds may be directed upward. Prostrate trees, which are usually called elfin-trees, include the Swiss mountain pine, dwarf stone pine, and savin. Prostrate forms include shrubs and undershrubs (polar willows, certain species of rhododendron, and bearberry). Herbaceous prostrate plants having rooted shoots are called creeping herbs, and those lacking rooted shoots are called decumbent herbs. Woody prostrate plants are adapted to severe soil and climatic conditions and are confined to subarctic, subantarctic, and alpine regions. Their position close to the ground gives them an advantage in heat regime and water supply and provides protection from drying winds. Prostrate trunks and limbs are longer lived than erect ones. Herbaceous prostrate plants, which are usually associated with shaded or excessively moist habitats, include the forest herbs wild ginger and common speedwell, as well as the meadow, swamp, and coastal herbs bent grass, moneywort, and creeping crowfoot.
T. I. SEREBRIAKOVA