There is still limited consensus on the evolutionary history of the species-rich temperate alpine floras due to a lack of comparable and high-quality phylogenetic data covering multiple plant lineages. Here we reconstructed when and how European alpine plant lineages diversified, i.e., the tempo and drivers of speciation events. We performed full-plastome phylogenomics and used multi-clade comparative models applied to six representative angiosperm lineages that have diversified in the European mountains. The diversification rates remained surprisingly steady for most clades, even during Pleistocene glaciations, with speciation events being mostly driven by geographic divergence and bedrock shifts. Interestingly, we inferred asymmetrical historical migration rates from siliceous to calcareous bedrocks, and from higher to lower elevations, likely due to repeated shrinkage and expansion of high elevation habitats during the Pleistocene. This may have buffered climate-related extinctions, but prevented plant speciation along elevation gradients as are often documented for tropical alpine floras.