The cushion plant is one of my favourites. I saw my first one when I was a teenager, hiking to the summit of Cradle Mountain with my parents. I had never seen anything like it – the exquisite knots of delicate flowers and intricate, symmetrical twists of green growing only millimetres above the soil and forming a floral blanket over the land. Its fragile appearance belies its toughness. I photographed this cushion plant on the walking route up Frenchman’s Cap, a rugged quartzite peak in Tasmania. Cushion plants are adapted to live in some of the coldest, most inhospitable environments in the world, growing in nutrient-poor soils ravaged by fierce winds.