Buffalo Mountain is one of the most significant natural areas in Virginia. It boasts an amazing 13 rare plant occurences, 3 rare animal occurences, and 6 significant natural communities. The combination of high-elevation (3,971 feet), wind-exposed openings at the summit, and magnesium rich soils make it unlike any place else in the Commonwealth. On the treeless summit, strong winds and boreal climate support subalpine vegetation including three-toothed cinquefoil and Rocky Mountain woodsia. The south face of the mountain contains grassy, prairie-like openings composed of wildflowers and native warm-season grasses more typical to the Midwest than to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Wet, magnesium-rich seeps along the base of the mountain support globally rare grasses and wildflowers such as bog bluegrass and large-leaved grass-of-parnassus. Buffalo Mountain is also the only known location in the world for a mealybug called Puto kosztarabi.