Page authors: Ben Legler, David Giblin
Saxifraga mertensiana
Merten's saxifrage, woodland saxifrage

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; Alaska to California, east to Alberta, Idaho, and Montana.

Habitat: Wet ledges, shaded seeps on rock faces, and gravelly stream banks from sea level to the subalpine.

Flowers: April-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Apomixis, bees, flies


Usually soft-hairy, succulent perennial from short, thick rhizomes, tending to form large clumps, the flowering stems 1.5-4 dm. tall.


Leaves basal, with petioles up to 4 times as long as the blades, with well-developed, membranous, sheathing stipules, the basal ones usually with bulblets in their axils; leaf blades reniform to orbicular, 3-10 cm. broad and nearly as long, coarsely lobed, the lobes toothed.


Inflorescence an open, many-flowered panicle, usually with at least some of the flowers replaced with pinkish bulblets; calyx cleft nearly to the base, the 5 lobes reflexed, lanceolate, sparsely glandular-pubescent; petals 5, white, 3-5 mm. long, oblong-elliptic, 3-5 mm. long, narrowed abruptly to the base; stamens 10, filaments white, somewhat petaloid, anthers pink.


Ovary mostly superior; carpels 2 or 3; capsule about 5 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Saxifraga mertensiana Bong.
Publication: Mém. Acad. Imp. Sci. St.-Pétersbourg, Sér. 6, Sci. Math. 2: 141. 1832.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Saxifraga mertensiana Bong. var. eastwoodiae (Small) Engl. & Irmscher
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Saxifraga mertensiana in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Saxifraga mertensiana checklist entry.

OregonFlora: Saxifraga mertensiana information.

E-Flora BC: Saxifraga mertensiana atlas page.

CalPhotos: Saxifraga mertensiana photos.

USDA Plants: Saxifraga mertensiana information.

53 photographs:
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