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Lyall's saxifrage, red-stem saxifrage

mountain saxifrage, redwool saxifrage, western mountain saxifrage, western saxifrage

Habit Plants solitary or sometimes mat-forming, rhizomatous. Plants in groups or sometimes almost mat-forming, with bulbils on caudices or rhizomatous.
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, 1–5 cm;

blade ovate to elliptic, 1.5–3.5 cm, ± fleshy, base ± attenuate to ± truncate, margins shallowly, sharply serrate, ciliate, surfaces sparsely tangled, reddish brown-hairy abaxially, glabrous adaxially.

Inflorescences

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

usually (10–)30+-flowered, flowers crowded into 1+ glomerules in thyrses with ascending branches, 8–30 cm, purple-tipped stipitate-glandular; (bracts glabrous or marginally glandular-ciliate).

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 ascending to spreading, sometimes reflexed in fruit, ovate to oblong, (surfaces glabrous);

petals white, not spotted (spots rarely present), obovate to almost round, clawed, 2–4 mm, to 1.5 times as long as sepals;

filaments linear to very slightly widened near anthers, flattened;

pistils distinct almost to base;

ovary ± superior.

Capsules

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

greenish or reddish to ± dark purple, folliclelike.

2n

= ca. 56, 58.

= 20, 38, 40, 56, 58.

Micranthes lyallii

Micranthes occidentalis

Phenology Flowering summer–early autumn. Flowering spring–summer.
Habitat Wet, rocky meadows, mountain to alpine streamsides Wet, rocky or gravelly slopes, moist to dry alpine meadows, flushes
Elevation 800-4000 m [2600-13100 ft] 500-4000 m [1600-13100 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 occidentalis appears closely related to the little-known M. mexicana (Engler & Irmscher) Brouillet & Gornall from Chihuahua, Mexico. The latter is the only species of the genus that occurs in Mexico and not in the United States. Micranthes occidentalis is disjunct between the northern Rocky Mountains and the Cypress Hills of southeastern Alberta and southwestern Saskatchewan, and the Black Hills of South Dakota. It hybridizes with M. idahoensis where their ranges overlap.

(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; ID; MT; NV; OR; SD; WA; WY; AB; BC; SK
[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. micranthidifolia, M. nelsoniana, M. nidifica, M. nivalis, M. nudicaulis, 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 occidentalis, Saxifraga allenii, Saxifraga occidentalis var. allenii, Saxifraga occidentalis var. wallowensis, Saxifraga reflexa subsp. occidentalis, Saxifraga saximontana
Name authority (Engler) Small: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 143. 1905 , (S. Watson) Small: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 144. 1905 ,
Source Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 57. Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 62.
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