Herbs (in Europe) with alternate or opposite leaves, and no stipules. Calyx free, or more or less adherent to the ovary, with 4 or 5 lobes or segments. Petals as many, perigynous, or none. Stamens as many, or twice as many, perigynous. Ovary 1-3 celled. Ovules numerous, on axillary placentae. Fruit a 2-4'celled capsule. Seeds usually many.

An extensive family, ranging over nearly the whole world.

Saxifraga L

Herbs, mostly with a perennial tufted stock, with radical or alternate or sometimes opposite leaves, no stipules. Flowers terminal, solitary, or in cymes or panicles. Calyx free or partly adnate to the ovary. Ovary 2-lobed, 2-celled. Styles 2. Capsule 2-valved, 2-beaked.

A large genus of about 200 species and many varieties, chiefly mountain or rock plants, found in all the great mountain chains of the northern hemisphere, some extending to the further Arctic stations, and thus along the Andes to the Antarctic circle, and a few descend to the hot limestone rocks of the Mediterranean region.

Saxifraga Petrcea L

Stem solitary, decumbent, leafy, paniculate. Flower-stalks 1-flowered, with 2 bracts. Leaves pinnately 3-cleft, inciso-dentate lower leaves, nearly reniform; uppermost wedge-shaped at base, entire or 3-cleft, the lobes acuminate; leaf-stalk of lower leaves elongated, furrowed. Petals white, obovate, twice as long as calyx.

Damp rocky places on limestone, often descending to a low elevation; 2000-5300 feet. May to July.

Distribution

Carpathians, Eastern Alps; rare.

Saxifraga Paradoxa Sternb. (Zahlbrucknera Paradoxa Rchb)

Stem prostrate. Leaves distant, lower ones long-stalked, cordate-reniform, 5-7 lobed, lobes obtuse or shortly acuminate; upper leaves 3-lobed. Flowers solitary, at length long-stalked. Petals green, shorter than the sepals. Calyx half-inferior; the small calyx-teeth narrowly lanceolate, acute.

Damp rocks, especially overhanging slabs of gneiss, preferring the darkest corners of the hollows; 3300-6000; rare.

Distribution

Only in Western Styria, Carinthia, Southern Tyrol, and on the border between Tyrol and Lombardy.

Saxifraga Rotundifolia L. Round-Leaved Saxifrage. (Plate XIV)

Stem erect or ascending, leafy, terminating in a loose, paniculate, glandular-downy cyme. Leaves hairy, cordate, roundish or reniform; root-leaves and lower stem-leaves long-stalked, coarsely dentate, uppermost sessile, broadly wedge-shaped, and unequally cut. Calyx-teeth spreading. Flowers star-like, milk-white, spotted with red above and yellow below the middle. Petals narrowly lanceolate.

1. SAXIFRAGA ROTUNDIFOLIA. 2. S. STELLARIS. 3. S. CUNEIFOLIA. 4. S. AIZOIDES (WITH RED VARIETY). 5. S. AIZOON.

Plate XIV.

1. SAXIFRAGA ROTUNDIFOLIA.

2. S. STELLARIS.

3. S. CUNEIFOLIA.

4. S. AIZOIDES (WITH RED VARIETY).

5. S. AIZOON.

4/7 NATURAL SIZE.

Damp Alpine and sub-alpine woods and shady places from 3000-7000 feet. June to August.

Distribution

Alps, Pyrenees, Central and Southern Europe, Corsica, Caucasus, Asia Minor, Armenia.

Saxifraga Hircuius L

Perennial stock often reduced to a mere tuft. Leaves alternate, almost linear, entire. Flowering-stems ascending to about 6 inches, leafy, and terminating in a large, single yellow flower, with narrow-obovate or oblong petals. Capsule rather large. Calyx-segments reflexed, not half the length of the petals.

Sphagnum bogs and wet mountain moors. July, August.

Distribution

Jura, rare in Switzerland, Central, Northern, and Arctic Europe; Caucasus, Thibet, Himalaya; North and Arctic America; rare in Britain.