categoryZEvergreen Evergreen List 

GOLDEN-SAXIFRAGE (OPPOSITE-LEAVED)

Chrysosplenium oppositifolia

Saxifrage Family [Saxifragaceae]  

month8Feb month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8May month8jun month8june month8jul month8july

category
category8Evergreen
 
status
statusZnative
 
flower
flower8bicolour
 
flower
flower8yellow
 
inner
inner8green
 
morph
morph8actino
 
petals
petalsZ4
 sepals
type
typeZumbel
umbel-like
stem
stem8round
 
stem
stem8angular
 
sex
sexZbisexual
 

2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Carpeting the woods floor for several acres.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
It grows to between 5 and 15cm high (Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage grows to a slightly taller 20cm).


24th April 2004, Midgehole, Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire. Photo: © RWD
Bird's-eye view. [Some interloping plant is lurking at the right lower down].


7th July 2006, The foothills of the Howgills, Cumbria. Photo: © RWD
These are the leafy, non-flowering runners with leaves a differing shape to those on the flowering stalks; but here there are no flowering stalks; it is July and the flowers have gone.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The stems are round, or angular or square in places. These specimens have two concatenated symmetrical Y-shaped bifurcations to the flower heads. (Three bifurcations is also possible).


2nd April 2015, Cromford Canal, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
On the left a specimen with just one bifurcation to the flowers. On the right one with 2 bifurcations. Any stem leaves are in opposite pairs, the leaf stalks being broad and flat as they approach the main stem.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
Here there are 3 symmetrical, stacked bifurcations, leading to 4 sets of anti-paired small flower clusters.


2nd April 2015, Cromford Canal, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
Here there are 2 bifurcations... except the right-hand branch has an extra central branch with its own flower atop. Each secondary branch has a single leaf at the junction of the two upper branches.
Below are some oddly-shaped lower leaves.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves associated with the flowers are nearly of various sizes, 15 to 20mm across, circular and have roundly-wavy 'teeth'. The flowers are few and in various stages of development. The flowers are 3 to 5mm across and have 8 tiny stamens with tiny golden-yellow anthers in a ring near the periphery of the flower, which has no petals; what they do have is 4 yellowish-green sepals which are rounded at the edge and notched to maybe halfway.


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The leaves taper gradually melding with the stems, which are round, angular or sometimes square (all can be seen in this specimen).


2nd April 2014, Yarrow Valley Country Pk, Chorley, Lancs. Photo: © RWD
The basal leaves are a darker-green than the other leaves around the flowers.




21st May 2008, Near Hayfield, Derbyshire. Photo: © RWD
The yellow anthers are much yellower and larger in this still-ripe specimen.


28th April 2019, Dean Brook, Gathurst, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The 2 carpels per flower are fused together forming the single-celled ovary.


28th April 2019, Dean Brook, Gathurst, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
Some filaments have lost their anthers in the top flower. The bottom flower shows the depth of the outside of the sepals after they merge.


28th April 2019, Dean Brook, Gathurst, Lancashire. Photo: © RWD
The two white styles with tiny stigmas emerge from differing bulges in the central ovary. Two anther-less filaments are on the periphery, another two are on the left; but there are also 4 anthers missing on this specimen.
There is an 8-lobed ring just within the 4 sepals which is probably the nectar secreting disc to attract the pollinators.


Golden Saxifrage, scientific name Chrysosplenium oppositifolia should not to be confused with Purple Saxifrage, whose latin name is Saxifraga oppositifolium even although both are members of the Saxifrage Family.

Easily confused with : Golden-saxifrage (Alternate-leaved). With the opposite leaved variety shown here, the leaves are opposite each other as opposed to alternate up the stem, and the stems are square whereas on the alternate-leaved variety they are triangular. Also, the leaves on the Alternate Leaved variety are glossier, are on longer stalks and have nicks on the periphery about a quarter of the diameter, whereas on the oppositely leaved variety shown here the leaves are wavy edged.

Distinguishing Feature: The stems are square (or round or multi-faceted); the leaf margins slightly wavy toothed.

Both varieties of Golden-saxifrage grow in damp, shady places or boggy woods near wet flushes or shallow springs, beside streams or on wet mountain ledges. Both have small yellowish flowers scarcely of differing colour to the leaves, opening February until July.

Whereas this Opposite-leaved Golden-saxifrage flowers from February to June, Alternate-leaved Golden-saxifrage has a much shorter flowering period: just April to May.


  Chrysosplenium oppositifolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Saxifragaceae  

Distribution
family8Saxifrage family8Saxifracaea
 BSBI maps
genus8chrysosplenium
Chrysosplenium
(Golden-saxifrages)

GOLDEN-SAXIFRAGE (OPPOSITE-LEAVED)

Chrysosplenium oppositifolia

Saxifrage Family [Saxifragaceae]  

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