E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Lithophragma tenellum Nutt.
slender fringecup (slender woodland star; slender woodland-star)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants
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Distribution of Lithophragma tenellum
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from slender rhizomes, with small bulblets; stems erect, 10-25 cm tall, densely glandular-hairy throughout with yellow-tipped hairs.
Basal leaves nearly round to kidney-shaped, 0.5-1.5 cm wide, palmately 3-divided or -lobed, the lobes shallowly toothed, or simply 3- to 7-toothed, long-hairy, the teeth rounded; stalks slender, 1- to 2-times as long as blades, with widened stipular bases; stem leaves 2 or 3, unstalked above, more dissected than basal.
Inflorescence a 5- to 10-flowered cluster; petals white or pinkish, 5, clawed, the blades 5- to 7-lobed, the outer lobes smaller, 3-5 mm long; calyces narrowly bell-shaped, 2-3 mm long (up to 5 mm long in fruit), part joined to ovary less than the free hypanthium; calyx lobes 5, triangular, 0.5-1 mm long, tips blunt to rounded; stamens 10.
Capsules, about length of calyces when mature; seeds brown, elliptic, about 0.5 mm long, wrinkled or veiny to almost smooth.
Some BC specimens have been recognized as L. thompsonii but this taxon is of dubious merit.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Dry, open meadows, coniferous and deciduous forests, grasslands and shrublands in the steppe to montane zones; infrequent in SC BC; S to NM, AZ and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Lithophragma tenellum

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 566 1397 1816
Slope Gradient (%) 0 20 40
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
200 207 215
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(1), MS(2)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Lithophragma australe Rydb.
Lithophragma brevilobum Rydb.
Lithophragma rupicola Greene
Lithophragma tenellum var. thompsonii (Hoover) C.L. Hitchc.
Lithophragma thompsonii

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References