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Lyall's saxifrage, red-stem saxifrage

early saxifrage, early small-flower-saxifrage, Virginia saxifrage

Habit Plants solitary or sometimes mat-forming, rhizomatous. Plants solitary or in clumps, 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, 1–9 cm;

blade ovate to elliptic, 2–8 cm, ± fleshy, base attenuate, margins irregularly crenate to serrate, ciliate, surfaces sparsely to ± densely stipitate-glandular and tangled, reddish brown-hairy, adaxially glabrescent.

Inflorescences

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

30+-flowered, (flowers sometimes secund), very open, lax, ± flat-topped thyrses, 6–50 cm, proximally hairy, distally 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 to ascending (even in fruit), ovate to triangular;

petals white, not spotted, broadly oblong to elliptic, not or rarely slightly clawed, 3–6 mm, 2+ times as long as sepals;

filaments linear, flattened;

pistils distinct almost to base;

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

Capsules

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

green to purplish, folliclelike.

2n

= ca. 56, 58.

= 20 (+ 0–6 supernumeraries), 38.

Micranthes lyallii

Micranthes virginiensis

Phenology Flowering summer–early autumn. Flowering spring.
Habitat Wet, rocky meadows, mountain to alpine streamsides Rocky hillsides, cliffs and shaded rock outcrops, stream banks, wooded slopes
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.)

Also reported for Micranthes virginiensis is 2n = 28; D. E. Soltis (1983) documented zero to six supernumerary chromosomes in this species and speculated that this report may have included eight supernumeraries.

(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
AL; AR; CT; DC; GA; IL; IN; KY; LA; MA; MD; ME; MI; MN; MO; MS; NC; NH; NJ; NY; OH; PA; RI; SC; TN; VA; VT; WV; MB; NB; ON; QC
[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. 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
Synonyms Saxifraga lyallii, Saxifraga lyallii subsp. hultenii, Saxifraga lyallii var. hultenii Saxifraga virginiensis
Name authority (Engler) Small: in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 143. 1905 , (Michaux) Small: Fl. S.E. U.S., 501. 1903 ,
Source Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 57. Flora of North America vol. 8, p. 61.
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