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

Saxifraga occidentalis S. Watson
western saxifrage (Alberta saxifrage)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #30103)

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Distribution of Saxifraga occidentalis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from short, horizontal rhizomes; flowering stem 1, 10-25 cm tall, glandular-hairy, usually with red glands.
Basal leaves egg-shaped to diamond-shaped, 3-8 cm long, 1-3 cm wide, coarsely and irregularly toothed with 15 to 30 teeth, wedge-shaped at base, fringed, sparsely long-hairy, only young leaves reddish woolly-hairy below; stalks slender to slightly winged; stem leaves lacking.
Inflorescence terminal, open to compact, of several clusters of flowers; petals white to pink, 1.5-3.5 mm long, egg-shaped to oblong, narrowed to a distinct or indistinct claw, deciduous; calyces joined to the lower portion of the ovary, free hypanthium present or absent, the lobes green to purplish, egg-shaped to oblong lanceolate, 1-2.5 mm long, spreading or bent back; stamens 10.
Follicles, 3-6 mm long, greenish to reddish-purple; seeds brownish, about 0.7 mm long, wrinkled lengthwise.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry meadows and gravelly slopes from the montane to alpine zones; common throughout most of BC to 59degreeN, absent from NE BC and the coastal islands; E to AB and S to SD, NM, ID, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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

Micranthes lata Small
Micranthes occidentalis (S. Watson) Small
Micranthes saximontana (E.E. Nelson) Small
Saxifraga marshallii subsp. idahoensis (Piper) Krause & Beamish
Saxifraga marshallii var. idahoensis (Piper) Engl. & Irmsch.
Saxifraga occidentalis var. allenii (Small) C.L. Hitchc.
Saxifraga occidentalis var. dentata (Engl. & Irmsch.) C.L. Hitchc.
Saxifraga occidentalis var. idahoensis (Piper) C.L. Hitchc.
Saxifraga occidentalis var. wallowensis M. Peck
Saxifraga reflexa subsp. occidentalis (S. Watson) Hultén

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References