Saxifraga cespitosa L.
Tufted alpine saxifrage, tufted saxifrage
Tufted alpine saxifrage ekes out a living on ledges and sandy or gravelly areas in alpine habitats.
Plants: Like many alpine species, plants are compact and densely tufted above ground, with short roots below ground. Plants may consist of single tufts or tussocks with many.
Leaves: Leaves are alternate, often dead or withered, ¼-½″ (8-15 mm) × ⅛-3/16″ (4-6 mm), covered with short white hairs tipped with red glands. They are green, red, or purple; and may also appear yellow or orange due to rust fungus (Melampsora epitea).
Flowers: Flowers are white (sometimes reddish or yellowish), with five symmetric sepals or petals, about ¼″ (6.3 mm) in diameter. A stem is 1¾-4″ (5-10 cm) in height, almost leafless, and may contain a single flower, or a cyme of 2-5. Each flower has ten stamens. Flowers appears from July-August.
Fruits: Two-parted capsules with many seeds.
Saxifraga cespitosa description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 25 May 2020.