This section is from the book "Sub-Alpine Plants Or Flowers Of The Swiss Woods And Meadows", by H. Stuart Thompson. Also available from Amazon: Sub-Alpine Plants: Or, Flowers of the Swiss Woods and Meadows.
S. autumnalis L. is the earlier name, Linnaeus having given two names to the same plant. (Plate XIV).
Stem erect or ascending, leafy, bearing a numerous-flowered, racemose cyme, but often only 2-3 flowered, hairy, especially at the summit. The root sends out numerous tufts of leafy shoots. Leaves glabrous, grass-green, nerveless, entire, linear or linear-lanceolate, more or less ciliate, apiculate, alternate, crowded at the apex of the shoots. Calyx hairy at base. Petals linear-lanceolate, as broad as the calyx-teeth, yellow or orange, or indeed any shade from pale yellow to deep orange-red. Stamens orange-yellow, Common in damp places by streams, etc., in the Alps; 3000-8000 feet, and occasionally seen at even 10,000 feet. June to September.
Carpathians, Eastern, Central, and Western Alps, Southern Jura, Pyrenees, Apennines, Central and Arctic Europe, Ural Mountains, North America. British. It is brought down by streams to rocks on the Ayrshire coast.
S. atrorubens Bertol. is merely a variety with deep red flowers and leaves with stiff cilia at the margin. It is recorded from Tyrol, and we have seen it in the sand of a mountain torrent near Engelberg in Switzerland and occasionally in Savoy, as above Argentiere. Probably it is by no means rare.
Shoots prostrate or erect. Stem with buds in the leaf-axils, ascending, glabrous, branched. Leaves linear-subulate, cuspidate (or awned), stiffly ciliate or glabrous, with one dot on upper side near the apex. Calyx-teeth cuspidate. Flowers whitish, small. A slender, green plant, 4 inches high.
Rocky places from 3300-6000 feet in Styrian and Julian Alps. July.
Most of these are high Alpine plants, but a few descend lower.
A most variable and perplexing plant, whose synonymy appears little understood, and has sometimes been confused with S. mus-coides All. It is one of the commonest and most variable of high Alpine Saxifrages. A small, usually hairy-glandular species, 1-4 inches high, forming dense and often large tufts. Stem slender, with a few small leaves, and branched at the top into a loose cyme with 2-6 flowers, though sometimes single-flowered. Leaves more or less glabrous, linear, and entire, or more frequently wedge-shaped and 2-5 cleft, nerves showing when dry only. Flowers pale or bright yellow, or rarely purple-brown, with dull yellow anthers, star-shaped. Petals rounded and slightly longer than the sepals.
Rocks, belts of turf and mould and Alpine pastures from 4000-14,000 feet. (At 4000 feet on the Saleve.) June to August.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Southern Jura, Carpathians, Pyrenees; Central and Southern Europe, Caucasus, Altai.
A very viscid, glandular, caespitose species, and variable like the last. Stems slender, with 1-3 small entire or trifid leaves, 4-10 flowered. Lower leaves imbricate, in dense tufts, bright green, viscous, strongly nerved, linear-oblong or oblong wedge-shaped, entire or more frequently 2-3 fid at the apex. The older leaves are reddish brown. Petals yellowish white, small, more or less oboval, once or twice as long as the sepals, which are oblong-lanceolate and sub-obtuse.
Damp rocks and Alpine pastures; 5000-10,800 feet. June to August.
Eastern, Central, and Western Alps; Pyrenees, Caucasus, Arctic regions.
This species is found as far south as the mountains of the Var, the highest ridge, called La Chens, being 1713 metres. There also appear 5. Aizoon, S. lingulata, S. hypnoides, and S. cuneifolia.
Saxifraga obscura G. et G., S. nervosa Lapeyr, 5. iratiana Schultz, S. pentadactylis Lapeyr., and the handsome 5. geranioides L. are Pyrenean species belonging to this section.