Micranthes pensylvanica (Swamp Saxifrage)
|Also known as:||Eastern Swamp Saxifrage|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; swamps, wet meadows, moist woods, seeps|
|Bloom season:||May - June|
|Plant height:||12 to 40 inches|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACW MW: OBL NCNE: OBL|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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Flowers are in small branching clusters in the upper part of the stem. Individual flowers are about ¼ inch across with 5 narrow pale yellow to greenish (rarely purple) petals and 10 spreading orange-tipped stamens around a relatively large green ovary in the center. Flowers are initially tightly packed in a cluster but spread out as the plant matures.
Leaves and stem:
Leaves are in a basal rosette, each to 9 inches long and 3 inches wide, widest at or above the middle, with a blunt or sharp point at the tip, tapering at the base, on a short reddish stalk. Leaf surfaces are sparsely to densely covered in sticky hairs and the edges may be toothless or have rounded teeth. The stem is thick and also covered in sticky hairs. One plant has a single flowering stem.
Swamp Saxifrage formerly went by Saxifraga pensylvanica. I came upon a group of Swamp Saxifrage, where some of these photos were taken, just as the flowers were blooming. A week later I returned to the spot to see how they were progressing and found every plant had been topped off. Deer must like it.
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- Swamp Saxifrage plant, woodland habitat
- Swamp Saxifrage plant, wet meadow habitat
- Swamp Saxifrage emerging in early spring
- more flowers
Photos by K. Chayka taken at Vadnais/Snail Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County and in Pine County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
Have you seen this plant in Minnesota, or have any other comments about it?