Purple Mountain Saxifrage
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)
A dense, little cushion plant, growing to a height of 5 cm in a tuft 20 cm wide.
Distinguishing Features - Leaves: oval, often maroon-tinged, >3 mm long, opposite, in 4 rows on stem, strongly overlapping, the edged with stiff, short hairs. Flowers: reddish-lavender, 6 mm wide; 5 erect, spatula-shaped petals; 10 stamens; pistil with 2 projections at top, each tipped with a tiny knob. Fruit: a capsule with laterally winged seeds.
Native to Northern Hemisphere; Rocky Mountains and other northern mountain regions; in rocky areas and crevices.
The richly colored flowers of the Purple Mountain Saxifrage stand it apart from others of this family, which are commonly white.
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