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Lyall's saxifrage, red-stem saxifrage

alpine saxifrage, snow saxifrage

Habit Plants solitary or sometimes mat-forming, rhizomatous. Plants tufted, 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 flattened, (0.4–)1–4 cm;

blade ovate to ± round, sometimes elliptic or oblong, (0.5–)1–4 cm, thick, coriaceous, base attenuate to ± truncate, margins serrate to dentate on distal 2/3 (sometimes more), proximally ciliate, surfaces ± densely tangled, reddish brown-hairy abaxially, glabrous or glabrate adaxially.

Inflorescences

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

(5–)10–40-flowered, congested, almost capitate thyrses, (3–)7–20 cm, ± densely purple-tipped stipitate-glandular.

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 erect, spreading in fruit, ovate to deltate;

petals white, sometimes pink tinged, not spotted, oblong to ovate, clawed, 2–4 mm, ± equaling sepals;

filaments linear, flattened;

pistils connate ca. 1/2 their lengths;

ovary 1/2 inferior, appearing more superior in fruit.

Capsules

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

green, becoming reddish to purplish, folliclelike.

2n

= ca. 56, 58.

= 60.

Micranthes lyallii

Micranthes nivalis

Phenology Flowering summer–early autumn. Flowering summer.
Habitat Wet, rocky meadows, mountain to alpine streamsides Open, mossy tundra, rocky ridges, or shady ledges
Elevation 800-4000 m [2600-13100 ft] 0-1500 m [0-4900 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 nivalis is closely related to M. tenuis. All records of M. nivalis in the United States (except Alaska) appear to be misapplied to or misidentifications of M. aprica, M. occidentalis, or M. rhomboidea. Occasional, dwarfed specimens of M. hieraciifolia and M. subapetala are similarly mislabelled.

(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
AK; AB; BC; LB; NT; NU; QC; YT; Greenland; Europe; Asia (Himalayas, Kamchatka, Siberia)
[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. micranthidifolia, M. nelsoniana, M. nidifica, 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 Saxifraga nivalis
Name authority (Engler) Small: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 143. 1905 , (Linnaeus) Small: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 136. 1905 ,
Source Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 57. Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 64.
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