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Lyall's saxifrage, red-stem saxifrage

branch-lettuce, lettuceleaf saxifrage

Habit Plants solitary or sometimes mat-forming, rhizomatous. Plants solitary or in groups, with bulbils on caudices.
Leaves

basal;

petiole rounded to flattened, 2–10 cm;

blade spatulate to obovate, 0.8–8 cm, thin, base cuneate to slightly attenuate, margins serrate to dentate, eciliate or sparsely glandular-ciliate, surfaces abaxially glabrous, adaxially sparsely brown-hairy.

basal;

petiole ± indistinct, (broad), flattened, 3–15 cm;

blade lanceolate to oblanceolate, 4–35 cm, thin, base attenuate, margins irregularly serrate to dentate, ciliate, surfaces sparsely hairy.

Inflorescences

usually 10–15-flowered, lax, cylindric thyrses, (red), (4–)7–30 cm, sparsely purple-tipped stipitate-glandular.

(30–)50+–flowered, very open, lax thyrses, 30–75 cm, pink- to purplish-tipped stipitate-glandular; (bracts gradually smaller distally).

Flowers

sepals reflexed, oblong to elliptic;

petals white, each with 2 basal yellowish green spots, elliptic to round, clawed, 2–5.5 mm, longer than sepals;

filaments club-shaped, (to 6 mm);

pistils connate 1/2+ their lengths;

ovary superior, (to 1/3 adnate to hypanthium).

sepals strongly reflexed, oblong;

petals white, with 2 basal yellow spots that sometimes appear as 1 (sometimes faded in dried material), ± elliptic to spatulate, clawed, 2–3 mm, longer than sepals;

filaments strongly club-shaped;

pistils distinct almost to base;

ovary superior, (to 1/3 adnate to hypanthium).

Capsules

green to yellow, distal 1/2 purple, ± folliclelike, (basally connate).

green, sometimes purplish, folliclelike.

2n

= ca. 56, 58.

= 22.

Micranthes lyallii

Micranthes micranthidifolia

Phenology Flowering summer–early autumn. Flowering spring.
Habitat Wet, rocky meadows, mountain to alpine streamsides Rocky seepage slopes, stream banks
Elevation 800-4000 m [2600-13100 ft] 400-2100 m [1300-6900 ft]
Discussion

Although they have nearly disjunct sets of populations, the subspecies of Micranthes lyallii are difficult to distinguish from each other. The more northern plants tend to be larger with wider leaves and often have been called Saxifraga lyallii subsp. or var. hultenii. Apparent hybrids with M. odontoloma occur in Alberta, British Columbia, and northern Idaho, and near Glacier National Park, Montana.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Micranthes micranthidifolia was formerly gathered by local people in the southern Appalachians as a spring “green” (hence the common name, “branch” being dialect for a small stream); it is still occasionally seen in local grocery stores.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Distribution
from FNA
AK; ID; MT; WA; AB; BC; NT; YT
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
GA; KY; MD; NC; PA; SC; VA; WV
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
Parent taxa Saxifragaceae > Micranthes Saxifragaceae > Micranthes
Sibling taxa
M. apetala, M. aprica, M. bryophora, M. californica, M. calycina, M. careyana, M. caroliniana, M. eriophora, M. ferruginea, M. foliolosa, M. fragosa, M. gaspensis, M. gormanii, M. hieraciifolia, M. hitchcockiana, M. howellii, M. idahoensis, M. integrifolia, M. marshallii, M. micranthidifolia, M. nelsoniana, M. nidifica, M. nivalis, M. nudicaulis, M. occidentalis, M. odontoloma, M. oregana, M. palmeri, M. pensylvanica, M. petiolaris, M. razshivinii, M. reflexa, M. rhomboidea, M. rufidula, M. spicata, M. stellaris, M. subapetala, M. tempestiva, M. tenuis, M. texana, M. tischii, M. tolmiei, M. unalaschcensis, M. virginiensis
M. apetala, M. aprica, M. bryophora, M. californica, M. calycina, M. careyana, M. caroliniana, M. eriophora, M. ferruginea, M. foliolosa, M. fragosa, M. gaspensis, M. gormanii, M. hieraciifolia, M. hitchcockiana, M. howellii, M. idahoensis, M. integrifolia, M. lyallii, M. marshallii, M. nelsoniana, M. nidifica, M. nivalis, M. nudicaulis, M. occidentalis, M. odontoloma, M. oregana, M. palmeri, M. pensylvanica, M. petiolaris, M. razshivinii, M. reflexa, M. rhomboidea, M. rufidula, M. spicata, M. stellaris, M. subapetala, M. tempestiva, M. tenuis, M. texana, M. tischii, M. tolmiei, M. unalaschcensis, M. virginiensis
Synonyms Saxifraga lyallii, Saxifraga lyallii subsp. hultenii, Saxifraga lyallii var. hultenii Robertsonia micranthidifolia, Aulaxis micranthidifolia, Saxifraga micranthidifolia
Name authority (Engler) Small: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 143. 1905 , (Haworth) Small: Fl. S.E. U.S., 501, 1331. 1903 ,
Source Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 57. Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 60.
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