Lyall’s Saxifrage – Micranthes lyallii

Saxifrage Family – Saxifragaceae

Actual flower size: 1/3 inch across

Actual flower size: 1/3 inch across

Lyall’s Saxifrage is also called Red-stemmed Saxifrage. The former Latin name for this flower was Saxifraga lyallii.

Plant Description: Lyall’s Saxifrage has a 3 to 16 inch tall, red stem growing out of a rosette of basal leaves.  The plants sometimes form a mass of interlocking leaves. The leaves are usually fan-shaped, but can be wedge or spoon-shaped, narrowing abruptly to a stalk about as long as the leaf.  The leaves are coarsely toothed with 7 to 9 teeth, glossy, and may be hairy.  There is a loose panicle of 10 to 15 small white flowers at the top of the stem.

Flower Description: Flowers are about 1/3 inch across. The 5 sepals are reflexed. The 5 white, oval petals have 2 yellow or greenish dots at the base and are clawed. They are about the same size as the sepals and age to pink. The 10 stamen are white and club-shaped.  There are often 3-5 carpels, fused only slightly at the base.

Ecology: Lyall’s Saxifrage grows in damp meadows, along stream banks and on rocky ledges at high elevations.

Note: The genus of Lyall’s Saxifrage has recently been changed from Saxifrage to Micranthes. See the note below the gallery on the Saxifrage Family page and the “APG Changes” page for more information.