Formerly the island appears to have been wooded, but it now presents only a few bushes (Edwardsia, Broussonetia, &c.), ferns, grasses, sedges, &c. The natives grow bananas in the shelter of artificial pits, also sugar-canes and sweet potatoes, and keep a few goats and a large stock of domestic fowls, and a Tahitian commercial house breeds cattle and sheep on the island.
2 Sedges available for forage grow in the tundra.
The peat is different in character from that of northern Europe: cellular plants enter but little into its composition, and it is formed almost entirely of the roots and stems of Empetrum rubrum, a variety of the common crowberry of the Scottish hills with red berries, called by the Falklanders the " diddle-dee " berry; of Myrtus nummularia, a little creeping myrtle whose leaves are used by the shepherds as a substitute for tea; of Caltha appendiculata, a dwarf species of marsh-marigold; and of some sedges and sedge-like plants, such as Astelia pumila, Gaimardia australis and Bostkovia grandif ora.
For winter quarters they build more elaborate houses of conical or dome-like form, composed of sedges, grasses and similar materials plastered together with mud.
The summits of some of the mountains are too high for trees and above belts of dwarf spruce, balsam and birch they are clothed chiefly with sandworts, diapensia, cassiope, rushes, sedges and lichens.