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Saxifraga oppositifolia L.
Purple mountain saxifrage
USDA Symbol: SAOP
A low, matted, showy saxifrage, not more than 2 in. high. The tightly packed stems are dense with overlapping, opposite leaves. The slim, pointed foliage is fringed on the margins with stiff, rigid hairs as are the margins of the five blunt lobes of the flowers. The attractively crimped, magenta or purple petals are accented by the brownish orange anthers. A dense, little cushion plant with oval leaves, often tinged with maroon, and bright reddish-lavender flowers.
The richly colored flowers are unusual in this genus, which commonly has white ones. The plant resembles Moss Pink (Silene acaulis), which is distinguished from it by 3 styles and generally a notch in the end of the slender petals.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
, WY Canada: NL
, QC Native Distribution:
Lab. to AK,
s. to VT,
Rockies to n. WY
& mts. of WA
& OR Native Habitat:
Tundra; arctic coastal bluffs; alpine acree; rock crevices
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Best grown from seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
Record Last Modified: 2012-09-26
Research By: TWC Staff