Diamond-leaved Saxifrage
Saxifraga rhomboidea Greene
Family: Saxifragaceae, Saxifrage
Genus: Saxifraga
Synonyms: Micranthes rhomboidea
Other names: snowball saxifrage
Nomenclature: rhomboidea = rhomb-shaped
Nativity / Invasiveness: Montana native plant
No edibility data
No medicinal data

General: perennial with a usually simple, short, erect root crown. Flowering stems single, leafless, 10-20 cm tall, hairless to glandular-short-hairy at the base and always rather copiously glandular-short-hairy above with whitish hairs tipped with a yellowish to reddish gland.

Leaves: basal only, with thick, triangular to rhombic blades 1-4 cm long, prominently blunt- to sharp-toothed, hairy on edges, generally hairless on the upper surface but rusty-cobwebby on the lower surface, narrowed abruptly to a broad, winged stalk usually shorter than the blade.

Flowers: many in a dense, head-like cluster. Petals 5, white or cream, rounded, usually longer than the calyx lobes, spatulate to oblong-ovate and narrowed abruptly to a broad base. Calyx with a broadly conic base about equal to the triangular to oblong-ovate, 1-2 mm lobes. Stamens about equaling the calyx lobes, filaments broadly awl-shaped. The ovary tapered to broad, beaklike tips. True styles lacking, stigmas enlarged and round. Late May-August.

Fruits: capsules, the seed-bearing portion 4-6 mm long, ending in curved back stylar beaks, usually purplish or reddish. Seeds brownish, about 0.6 mm long, lightly wrinkled lengthwise.


Moist places in sagebrush-covered slopes to subalpine meadows, in w. and c. parts of MT. Also from s. B.C. and Alberta to CO, UT and c. ID.
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