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Vascular Plants of California
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Saxifraga mertensiana


Higher Taxonomy
Family: SaxifragaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: SAXIFRAGE FAMILY
Habit: Perennial herb from caudex or rhizome, generally +- hairy. Stem: often +- leafy on proximal 1/2, rarely trailing and leafy throughout. Leaf: generally simple, basal and/or cauline, generally alternate, generally petioled; veins +- palmate. Inflorescence: raceme or 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 3, [4], 5, 8, or 10; pistils 1 (carpels +- fused, ovary lobed, chambers 1 or 2, placentas generally 2(3), axile or parietal or occasionally proximally axile and distally marginal in ovary lobes) or 2 (carpels free, placentas marginal), ovary nearly superior to inferior, occasionally more superior in fruit, styles generally 2(3). Fruit: capsule (generally 2(3)-beaked, valves generally 2(3), generally equal) or 2 follicles. Seed: generally many, small.
Genera In Family: +- 30 genera, 600 species: especially northern temperate, arctic, alpine; some cultivated (Bergenia, Darmera, Heuchera, Saxifraga, Tellima, Tolmiea). Note: California Mitella moved to Mitellastra, Ozomelis, Pectiantia; Suksdorfia ranunculifolia to Hemieva. Parnassia moved to Parnassiaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park & Patrick E. Elvander, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SaxifragaView DescriptionDichotomous Key


Common Name: SAXIFRAGE
Habit: Plant generally +- hairy, often glandular; caudex or rhizome generally not woody, generally scaly. Leaf: blade obovate to round, base tapered to reniform or cordate, margin lobed. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle; flowers 1--many; bracts scale-like. Flower: hypanthium free or +- fused to ovary; [petals sometimes spotted]; stamens 10, filaments generally flat; pistil 1, ovary superior to +- inferior (sometimes more superior in fruit), chambers 2, placentas 2, axile, styles 2, free throughout. Fruit: capsule.
Species In Genus: +- 300 species: cool northern temperate, boreal, arctic. Etymology: (Latin: rock-breaking) Note: Saxifraga stolonifera W. Curtis cultivated only. Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Cascadia, Micranthes.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park
Saxifraga mertensiana Bong.
NATIVE
Habit: Caudex with bulblets. Leaf: 4--20 cm; petiole 2--15 cm; blade generally > 15 mm, +- round, divided < 1/4 to base, base generally cordate; lobes many, triangular to semicircular, each generally with +- 2--5 irregular teeth. Inflorescence: panicle, 15--30 cm, open. Flower: sepals reflexed, < petals, ovate to elliptic; petals 4--5 mm, ovate to elliptic; filaments generally widened distally; ovary superior. Fruit: purple. Chromosomes: 2n=48.
Ecology: Mossy rocks, cliffs; Elevation: < 2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRO, n&c SN (uncommon); Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana. Flowering Time: Feb--Jul Note: Proximal flowers seem not to be replaced by +- pink vegetative bulblets in California. Sometimes confused with Micranthes odontoloma, which has untoothed, triangular leaf lobes and 2-spotted petals.
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael S. Park
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Botanical illustration including Saxifraga mertensiana

botanical illustration including Saxifraga mertensiana

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Citation for this treatment: Michael S. Park 2012, Saxifraga mertensiana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=43374, accessed on October 19, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/eflora/, accessed on October 19, 2019.

Saxifraga mertensiana
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Saxifraga mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse
Saxifraga mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Saxifraga mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2014 Barry Rice
Saxifraga mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2014 Barry Rice
Saxifraga mertensiana
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Saxifraga mertensiana in CalPhotos



Geographic subdivisions for Saxifraga mertensiana:
NCo, KR, NCoRO, n&c SN (uncommon)
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).





 

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Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.