STARRY SAXIFRAGE

Saxifraga stellaris

Saxifrage Family [Saxifragaceae]  

month8jun month8june month8jul month8july month8Aug

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8bicolour
flower
flower8white
inner
inner8pink
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

13th June 2014, Third Gill, Whiteless Pike, Buttermere. Photo: © RWD
Most often found on mountain sides either on wet rock ledges or cliffs or beside mountain streams usually in sheltered nooks which are often quite dark: it doesn't like being in full sun for long. It prefers acid soils, here damp mossy.


Aug 2011, Ben Lawyers, Scotland. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A short plant, up to 20cm high but usually half that.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Nascent flower buds nestle ready to grow long stalks in the centres of circles of leaves.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Just beneath branches (if there are any) are short, narrow leaf-like bracts. The 5 pale-green sepals just below the flower heads are usually reflexed downwards. But the one on the left hasn't yet opened. The centre flower is showing that there are actually 2 carpels in the centre, each with a stubby stigma atop.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The left-most flower again displaying the 2 carpels in the centre.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The stems are reddish and slightly hairy.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Five spear-end-like white petals each with two yellow spots. Ten anthers with orange pollen on the ends. Ten white stamens splayed out with small dumbell-shaped orange anthers at their tips, 5 in the centre of the petals, and 5 in the gaps between. The 5 pale-green sepals are just behind.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The petals are spear-head shaped. [The other flower with (indigo) spots on (some) petals is Common Stork's-bill (which can have one spot on 2 adjacent petals, but not on the other 3)]. These spots on the petals confirm identity of Starry Saxifrage.


12th June 2009, A leet, Greenside Mines, Glenridding, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
Young basal leaves with sparse but long hairs. The flowers stalks have yet to emerge. Leaves oval, without stalks, toothed or lobed and between 5 to 30mm long.


8th June 2008, Haweswater Gill, Hartsop, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
After a while the carpel in the centre starts to become pink then red as the fruit/seeds develop.


8th June 2008, Haweswater Gill, Hartsop, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
The carpels turning pink.


Aug 2011, Ben Lawyers, Scotland. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The flower stalks mostly lack leaves; most leaves are very short basal leaves which are slightly toothed or lobed. The flower stems are sparsely hairy as are the basal leaves (mainly on the upper/inner surface).


No relation to : Starry Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster astrophoros), Starry Stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa), Starry Stonecrop (Sedum stellatum), Starry Clover (Trifolium stellatum) (plants with similar names belonging to differing families),

Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : the 2 yellow spots on each of the 5 white petals. Petals end in a slightly cusped point (unlike most other Saxifrages).


  Saxifraga stellaris  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Saxifragaceae  

Distribution
family8Saxifrage family8Saxifracaea

 BSBI maps
genus8saxifraga
Saxifraga
(Saxifrages)

STARRY SAXIFRAGE

Saxifraga stellaris

Saxifrage Family [Saxifragaceae]  

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