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

Luetkea pectinata (Pursh) Kuntze
partridge-foot (partridgefoot)
Rosaceae (Rose family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #75016)

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Distribution of Luetkea pectinata
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Species Information

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Prostrate, mat-forming, semi-shrub from a rhizome and branching stolons; flowering stems erect to ascending, 5-20 cm tall, smooth or sparsely soft-hairy in grooves along the stem.
Evergreen, smooth, dead leaves withering and persistent for many years; basal leaves numerous, crowded in thick tufts, 7-20 mm long, the narrowly wing-margined stalk about as long as the fan-shaped blade, which is two- to three-times 3-dissected, the ultimate segments linear-lanceolate, sharp-pointed, ribbed below, grooved above; stem leaves alternate, similar but smaller.
Inflorescences dense, narrow, bracted, erect, terminal clusters, 1-7 cm long, of several to many short-stalked flowers; corollas white, saucer-shaped, the petals 5, egg- to spoon-shaped, 3-4 mm long; calyces 5-lobed, the lobes triangular, about 2 mm long; ovaries superior; stamens about 20.
Follicles, 4-5 mm long, short-stalked, somewhat leathery, smooth or sparsely silky-hairy along the ventral suture; seeds 4, spindle-shaped.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Mesic to wet forest openings, meadows, heathlands, scree slopes, mossy seepage areas and snowbed tundra in the subalpine to alpine zones; common throughout BC, except NE; N to AK, YT and NT, E to W AB and S to ID, MT and N CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Luetkea pectinata

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) 15 1711 2500
Slope Gradient (%) 0 27 120
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 208 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
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: AT(53), BAFA(79), CMA(78), CWH(31), ESSF(823), ICH(1), IMA(51), MH(225), SBS(2), SWB(13)

Ecological Indicator Information

A very shade-intolerant. subalpine to alpine. Western North American forb distributed equally in the Pacific and Cordilleran regions. Occurs in alpine tundra and subalpine boreal climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen­medium soils. Inhabits organic or mineral substrates receiving seepage from late-melting snowbanks. Abundant in heath communities and parkland-like forests; often grows with Cassiope mertensiana and Phyllodoce empetriformis. Characteristic of alpine and subalpine communities.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


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 alpine tundra & boreal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Saxifraga pectinata Pursh, non Schott, Nyman & Kotschy

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References