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

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

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jim Riley  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #28858)

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Distribution of Saxifraga mertensiana
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Species Information

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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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / 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.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


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) 760 1673 2333
Slope Gradient (%) 0 34 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 44 344
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 7
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(8), CWH(1), ESSF(4), MH(4), MS(1), SBS(1)


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

Saxifraga mertensiana var. eastwoodiae (Small) Engl. & Irmsch.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References