Perennial, gregarious or matted herbs, with copiously leafy caudices and offsets and less leafy flower-stalks, and alternate fleshy or parchment-like entire or 3-pronged leaves, the flowers solitary or in terminal simple or compound cymes. Calyx-lobes 5, often spreading or reflexed. Corolla white or yellow, regular, the petals with claw-like bases or claws. Stamens 10; filaments subulate or clavate. Ovary almost superior, the carpels united to above the middle. Follicles erect, except for the more or less spreading tips. [Greek, referring to the small size of the plant.]

About 18 species, natives of boreal regions and the higher mountains of North America, Europe and Asia. Type species: Saxifraga aizoides L.

Leaves entire.

Flowers typically solitary or 2 together; calyx-lobes ciliate.


L. Hircuius.

Flowers typically several; calyx-lobes eciliate.


L. aizoides.

Leaves 3-pronged at the apex.


L. tricuspidata.

1. Leptasea Hirculus (L.) Small. Yellow Marsh Saxifrage

Fig. 2153

Saxifraga Hirculus L. Sp. Pl. 402. 1753.

Leptasea Hirculus Small, N. A. Flora 222: 152. 1905.

Erect from a slender caudex, glabrous or somewhat pubescent, simple, leafy, 4'-10' high. Leaves alternate, oblong or linear-oblong, entire, 1/2'-1 1/2' long, the lower petioled, the upper sessile; flower terminal, solitary (rarely 2-4), bright yellow with scarlet spots, 1/2'-1' broad; calyx-lobes oval or oblong, obtuse, reflexed; petals erect or ascending, obovate or oblong, about 3 times as long as the calyx-lobes; capsule free from the calyx or nearly so, about 4" long, its beaks at length diverging.

In bogs, Labrador and arctic America. Also in northern and alpine Europe and Asia. Summer.

1 Leptasea Hirculus L Small Yellow Marsh Saxifrage 495

2. Leptasea Aizoides (L.) Haw. Yellow Mountain Saxifrage

Fig. 2154

? Saxifraga autumnalis L. Sp. Pl. 402. 1753.

Saxifraga aizoides L. Sp. Pl. 403. 1753.

Leptasea aizoides Haw. Saxifr. Enum. 40. 1821.

Tufted, glabrous, stems leafy, 2'-6' high. Leaves alternate, linear, thick, fleshy, mucronate-tipped, narrowed at the base, sessile, 4"-9" long, 1"-1 1/2" wide, the margins often sparingly ciliate; flowers several, corymbose, 4"-7" broad; pedicels rather slender; petals oblong, yellow and sometimes spotted with orange, exceeding the ovate-oblong calyx-lobes; carpels abruptly acuminate; base of the capsule adnate to the calyx; seeds minutely rugose.

On wet rocks, Newfoundland and Labrador to Vermont and western New York, west through arctic America to the Rocky Mountains, south to Michigan. Also in alpine and arctic Europe and Asia. Summer. Also called sengreen saxifrage.

2 Leptasea Aizoides L Haw Yellow Mountain Saxifrag 4962 Leptasea Aizoides L Haw Yellow Mountain Saxifrag 497

3. Leptasea Tricuspidata (Retz.) Haw. Three-Toothed Saxifrage

Fig. 2155

Saxifraga tricuspidata Retz, Prodr. Fl. Scand. Ed. 2, 104. 1795.

Leptasea tricuspidata Haw. Saxifr. Enum. 39. 1821.

Tufted, flowering stems strict, erect, 2's' high, the leaves densely clustered at the base, oblong or oblong-spatulate, parchment-like, 4"-7" long, sharply 2-3-dentate at the apex, narrowed at the base, sessile, the margins ciliate with short hairs; scapes bracted; flowers several, corymbose, yellow, 4"-5" broad; sepals ovate, coriaceous, obtusish, much shorter than the oblong-obovate or narrowly oblong petals; capsule tipped with the diverging styles, its lower part adnate to the calyx.

In rocky places, Newfoundland and Labrador to Hudson Bay, west through arctic America to Alaska, south to Lake Superior and in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Also in arctic Europe. Summer.