This broad term covers a great range of microhabitats, controlled by a variety of soils, drainage, exposure and aspect in the high mountain area. Plant species diversity is low, and vegetation cover varies from 100% at the lower end of the altitude range and in sheltered areas, to less than 10% at the highest and exposed altitudes. Steep, rocky slopes and cliffs support very little vegetation growth. The higher in altitude a plant species is found, the smaller the growth form is likely to be as a protection against wind and frost. An additional factor that a major effect on vegetation at these altitudes, is the very high density of rodents, particularly the Giant Molerat (Tachyoryctes macrocephalus). The soil is constantly turned over and the plants cropped by the activities of these animals, such that many places on the Sanetti Plateau look as though they have been ploughed.

There are many flat areas on the plateau which become quickly inundated in the wet season, or remain wet year round. These swampy areas are dominated by the sedge Carex monostachya.

A distinctive feature of the vegetation of these altitudes is the giant plant Lobelia rynchopetalum. This species is found from 3,100 to 4,377 m, but the largest forms are found at the highest altitudes. The plant itself is unbranched, but reaches a height of 2-3 m before flowering, then sends up a tall flower spike to a total of 6 m or more. The dead flower spikes last for several years and are a characteristic sight of many parts of the central plateau and peak area.