Chrysosplenium tetrandrum (Lund ex Malmgr.) Th. Fr.
northern golden-saxifrage (golden carpet; northern golden saxifrage)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jamie Fenneman     (Photo ID #29855)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Chrysosplenium tetrandrum
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from slender stolons; stems succulent, ascending to erect, to 15 cm long, with erect portions to 10 cm tall, 2- or 3-branched near tips, trailing shoots (stolons) leafy.
Basal leaves round to kidney-shaped, 5-10 (12) mm wide, shallowly 3- to 7-lobed, not noticeably veined, sometimes sparsely hairy above near sinuses, the stalks 1-2 cm long, smooth; stem leaves 1 to 4, egg- to nearly kidney-shaped, shallowly lobed, smooth.
Inflorescence terminal, of clusters of 3 to 10 flowers, the flowers top-shaped, 2-3 mm across; bracts green but often purple-dotted, egg-shaped, slightly lobed to entire; petals lacking; calyces joined to lower half of ovaries (the hypanthium), the lobes 4, oval, erect, mostly green, sometimes tinged with purple, obscurely 1-veined, triangular to egg-shaped, 1 mm long and about as wide, the two pairs alike; stamens 4 (3), opposite sepals; styles 0.2-0.3 mm long, the disk absent.
Capsules, the free portion 2-lobed, top- to bell-shaped; seeds smooth, 0.6-0.8 mm long, light reddish-brown.
Included by some authors in C. alternifolium L., but it is quite distinct (Packer 1991).

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


If more than one illustration is available for a species (e.g., separate illustrations were provided for two subspecies) then links to the separate images will be provided below. Note that individual subspecies or varietal illustrations are not always available.


Ecological Framework for Chrysosplenium tetrandrum

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)
1047 250 1730
Slope Gradient (%)
6 0 63

Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]

323 0 341
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
6 4 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in

BAFA(2), BWBS(3), CWH(1), ESSF(7), ICH(7), MH(1), MS(3), SBPS(4), SBS(20), SWB(3)

Habitat and Range

Moist to wet shady banks, rock crevices, mossy seeps, and shorelines in the montane and subalpine zones; common throughout N and E BC, infrequent south to 51degreeN in the Coast/Cascade Mountains; circumpolar, N to AK, YT and NT, E to N PQ and Labr. and S to WA, disjunct in CO; Eurasia.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Chrysosplenium alternifolium subsp. tetrandrum (Lund ex Malmgr.) Hultén
Chrysosplenium alternifolium var. tetrandrum Lund ex Malmgr.