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Vascular Plants of California
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Saxifraga cespitosa

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SaxifragaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
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 cespitosa L.
Habit: Plant glandular; caudex slender, +- woody; bulblets 0. Stem: short, +- trailing, +- woody. Leaf: cauline, generally crowded, 5--10 mm, sessile; blade obovate; lobes 3--5 at tip, +- linear. Inflorescence: raceme 2--5 cm; peduncle long, generally with 1 leaf-like bract near middle, generally 1--2 flowers at tip. Flower: sepals erect to spreading, << petals, elliptic; petals 3--5 mm, elliptic to obovate, ephemeral; filaments slightly widened toward base; nectaries inconspicuous or 0; ovary inferior in flower. Chromosomes: 2n=52,56,60,63,65,80.
Ecology: Damp rocky places; Elevation: > 1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR (Marble Mtns), Wrn; Distribution Outside California: to arctic, eastern North America, circumboreal. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
Synonyms: Saxifraga cespitosa var. emarginata (Small) Rosend.
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael S. Park
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Michael S. Park 2012, Saxifraga cespitosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 11, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 11, 2022.

Saxifraga cespitosa
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© 2015 California Academy of Sciences
Saxifraga cespitosa
click for enlargement
© 2021 California Academy of Sciences
Saxifraga cespitosa
click for enlargement
© 2021 California Academy of Sciences
Saxifraga cespitosa
click for enlargement
© 2015 California Academy of Sciences
Saxifraga cespitosa
click for enlargement
© 2021 California Academy of Sciences
Saxifraga cespitosa
click for enlargement
© 2010 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Saxifraga cespitosa in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Saxifraga cespitosa:
KR (Marble Mtns), Wrn
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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).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
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.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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 (fruiting time in some monocot genera).