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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

SAXIFRAGACEAE

SAXIFRAGE FAMILY

Patrick E. Elvander

Perennial or subshrub from caudex or rhizome, generally ± hairy
Stem often ± leafy on lower half, rarely trailing and leafy throughout
Leaves generally simple, basal or sometimes cauline, generally alternate, generally petioled; veins ± palmate
Inflorescence: panicle, generally ± scapose
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium free to ± fused to ovary; calyx lobes generally 5; petals generally 5, free, generally clawed, generally white; stamens generally 5 or 10; pistils 2 and simple or 1 and compound (chambers 1–2, placentas 2–4, axile or parietal), ovary superior to inferior, sometimes more superior in fruit, styles generally 2
Fruit: 2 follicles or 2–4-valved capsule
Seeds generally many, small
Genera in family: 40 genera, 600 species: especially n temp, arctic, alpine; some cultivated (Bergenia , Darmera , Heuchera , Saxifraga , Tellima , Tolmiea )
Reference: [Soltis 1988 Syst Bot 13:64–72]

SAXIFRAGA

SAXIFRAGE

Plant generally ± hairy, often glandular; caudex or rhizome generally not woody, generally scaly
Leaf: blade oblanceolate to round, base tapered to reniform, margin entire or toothed
Inflorescence: flowers 1–many; bracts scale-like
Flower: hypanthium free or ± fused to ovary; petals sometimes spotted; stamens 10, filaments generally flat; pistil 1 (chambers 2, placentas 2, axile) or 2 (each with 1 chamber, 1 marginal placenta), ovary superior to ± inferior (sometimes more superior in fruit), styles 2, free throughout
Fruit: capsule or 2 follicles
Species in genus: ± 400 species: especially cool n temp
Etymology: (Latin: rock-breaking)
Reference: [Elvander 1984 Syst Bot Monogr 3:1–44]

Native

S. nidifica Greene var. nidifica

Caudex with rhizomes and generally bulblets
Leaf 3–10 cm; petiole 1.5–5 cm; blade ovate to triangular, base generally tapered, entire or teeth minute
Inflorescence 10–50 cm, generally open between ± head-like clusters
Flower: sepals ± reflexed to spreading, < to = petals, triangular to ovate; petals 1–2 mm, narrowly elliptic to round; filaments slightly widened near base; nectaries disk-like, lobed; ovary > half-inferior in flower
Fruit: ± follicles
Chromosomes: 2n=38
Ecology: Open wet meadows, slopes
Elevation: 500–3000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Nevada
Variable. Intergrades with var. claytoniifolia (Canby) P. Elvander in e OR, WA.

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