Saxifraga mertensiana Bong.
wood saxifrage (Merten's saxifrage)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Jim Riley     (Photo ID #28858)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Saxifraga mertensiana
Click here to view the full interactive map and legend

Species Information

Perennial herb from short, thick rhizomes, with bulblets; flowering stems 15-40 cm tall, commonly long- and glandular-hairy.
Basal leaves 1 to 3, round-to kidney-shaped, heart-shaped at base, somewhat fleshy and brittle, 3-10 cm wide, 13- to 17-lobed, the main lobes 3- to 5-toothed, usually sparsely hairy, at least below; stalks long, up to 4-times blade length, often with bulblets in axils; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence open, many-flowered, some flowers replaced by pinkish bulblets; petals white, oblong-elliptic to egg-shaped, 3-5 mm long; calyces lobed almost to base, free hypanthium absent, the lobes lanceolate to lance-oblong, shorter than petals, sharply bent back, sparsely glandular-hairy; sta mens 10.
Capsules, 4-6 mm long; seeds light brown, about 1 mm long, lightly wrinkled.

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 Saxifraga mertensiana

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)
1673 760 2333
Slope Gradient (%)
34 0 100

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

44 0 344
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
3 0 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
# of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class

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

AT(8), CWH(1), ESSF(4), MH(4), MS(1), SBS(1)

Habitat and Range

Moist streambanks, ledges and rock outcrops from the lowland and steppe to subalpine zones; frequent in BC south of 55degreeN, rare in NW BC (Haines Triangle); N to S AK, E to AB and S to MT, ID and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Synonyms and Alternate Names:
Saxifraga mertensiana var. eastwoodiae (Small) Engl. & Irmsch.