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Saxifraga paniculata P. Mill.

Alpine Saxifrage

Habitat: Exposed, chiefly calcareous, gravels and rocks. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Mt. Mansfield, Vermont; Quebec to Labrador, west to Lake Superior and Manitoba. Also in alpine and arctic Europe.

Aids to Identification: Alpine saxifrage's leathery leaves grow in a small rosette, each 1-3 cm long, obovate, and with small teeth. The tips of the teeth are white, encrusted with calcium which is exuded by the leaf. Each rosette sends up 1 flower stalk, which branches into a loose cluster of small, 5-petaled flowers. The petals are white and often dotted with red. Unlike all other Maine saxifrages, the stem bears leaves.

Ecological characteristics: Occurs in small populations on cold, circumneutral cliffs.

Phenology: In Maine, flowers in August.

Family: Saxifragaceae

Synonyms: Formerly known as Saxifraga aizoon Jacq. var. neogaea Butters and Chondrosea aizoon (Jacq.) Haw.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 2 town(s) in the following county(ies): Oxford, Piscataquis.

Dates of documented observations are: 1978, 1979

Reason(s) for rarity: At southern limit of its range.

Conservation considerations: Known populations are small and subject to the vagaries of small populations like random fluctuations or localized disturbance events.