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Saxifraga oppositifolia (Purple mountain saxifrage)
Clagett, Marjorie

Saxifraga oppositifolia

Saxifraga oppositifolia L.

Purple Mountain Saxifrage

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N), AK (N), CAN (N), GL (N)

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.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 0-1 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Red , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug


USA: AK , ID , MT , NY , OR , VT , WA , WY
Canada: NL , NS , 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 Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Rocky soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available


Conspicuous Flowers: yes


Description: Best grown from seed.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: Not Available
Commercially Avail: yes

Find Seed or Plants

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

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.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Saxifraga oppositifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Saxifraga oppositifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Saxifraga oppositifolia


Record Modified: 2012-09-26
Research By: TWC Staff

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