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Saxifraga chrysantha

Stony Pass, July 14, 2010.

Saxifraga chrysantha

Saxifraga chrysantha. Synonym:  Hirculus serpyllifolius subspecies chrysanthus. (Golden Saxifrage)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Alpine. Rocky tundra. Summer.
Stony Pass, July 17, 2010.

Saxifraga chrysantha is smaller than Saxifraga flagellaris in most characteristics (overall height, flower size, leaf length) but the two are similar in a number of other characteristics: basal rosettes are very attractively symmetrical; stems and leaves are noticeably glandular-hairy; flowers are bright yellow; and both plants are minute beauties of rocky, alpine tundra.

You will find Saxifraga chrysantha high on mountain tundra in the company of dozens of other alpine species that make the tundra so special.  The bright yellow of the tiny flowers and the red stems of Saxifraga chrysantha attract attention to this quite small and lovely plant.

Asa Gray named this plant in 1877 from a specimen collected (probably in 1861) by his good friend and famous Colorado botanist, Charles Parry. The species was, said Parry, "especially abundant on Torrey's and Gray's Peaks at 11-14,000 feet".  (As quoted in Welsh's A Utah Flora.)

"Chrysantha" is Greek for "golden flower".

Saxifraga chrysantha

Saxifraga chrysantha. Synonym:  Hirculus serpyllifolius subspecies chrysanthus. (Golden Saxifrage)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Alpine. Rocky tundra. Summer.
Stony Pass, July 17, 2010.

Notice the hairs on the edge of the sepals and along the pedicels.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Saxifraga chrysantha

Range map for Saxifraga chrysantha