Yellow Marsh Saxifrage - Saxifraga hirculus
State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Known from one small population in the Absorka-Beartooth Wilderness. Though little data are available for the species in Montana, the alpine habitat in which it grows is not generally subject to negative impacts from human disturbance.
Yellow Marsh Saxifrage is a perennial herb with tufted stems that are 6-20 cm tall and arising from a short rhizome or stolon. The clustered, oblong-linear basal leaves are 15-50 mm long, taper to a petiole, and have entire margins. Alternate stem leaves are smaller and lack petioles. Leaves are glabrous, but the stem has curly reddish hairs above. Solitary flowers occur at the stem tips. Each has 5 separate, spreading to reflexed sepals that are 3-5 mm long with spreading hairs on the margin and 5 yellow, narrowly elliptic petals that are 7-13 mm long. The fruit is a red, 5-lobed capsule that is 9-16 mm high.
Flowering in August.
Saxifraga chrysantha and S. flagellaris are our other yellow-flowered saxifrages; the former has leaves 3-7 mm long, while the latter has long, sinuous stolons.
Circumboreal, south from AK to UT, CO and northern NM (Kartesz in prep. 2012).
Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations:
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(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)
Wet, organic soil in the alpine zone.
Ecological Systems Associated with this Species
- Additional ReferencesLegend: View Online Publication
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- Lesica, P. and P. F. Stickney. 1994. Noteworthy collections: Montana. Madrono 41:228-231.
- Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.