Alpine Saxifrage (Saxifraga nivalis)

Alpine Saxifrage (Saxifraga nivalis)

Saxifraga nivalis, or Alpine Saxifrage, is a plant which grows at extremely high altitudes, as well as on the lower mountain slopes. It, too, has a cluster of leaves at the base, rounded and toothed at the top and narrowing down sharply towards the root. The flowers grow in handsome compact heads, and the stalks, usually quite bare of leaves, are reddish and not straight. The seed-pods are purple-red and spreading.

Saxifraga Mertensiana, or Spotted Saxifrage, has a bulblike rootstock, and propagates by bulblets in the axils of the leaves which latter are rounded, heart-shaped at the base, lobed and toothed, being very large and broad. The white petals of the flowers have two yellow spots near the base and the capsule is oval and inflated.

Saxifraga cuslkalis, or Purple-bracted Saxifrage, has kidney-shaped leaves which are deeply cordate at the base and coarsely toothed. The white flowers grow in a loose open panicle, and the bracts on the stalks are quite purplish.

Saxifraga cccspiiosa, or Tufted Saxifrage, has slender running stems and short branchlets. It forms dense tufts as large as eighteen inches in diameter on the ground. The leaves are pale yellowish-green, thin, fan-shaped and deeply three-to-five cleft. The white flowers are large in comparison with the size of the plant and the narrow entire bracts and three-lobed leaves grow on the flowering stalks.

Saxifraga adscendens, or Wedge-leaved Saxifrage, has wedge-shaped three-toothed leaves growing in basal rosettes, and branching stalks. The white petals are also wedge-shaped.

Saxifraga rivularis, or Alpine Brook Saxifrage, has kidney-shaped basal leaves which are three-to-five lobed, and narrow upper leaves. The flowers which terminate the slender stalks are erect. This plant is found on the alpine summits and near running water.