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Yellow Marsh Saxifrage

Saxifraga hirculus L.

Biology

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Yellow marsh saxifrage flowers in July to September.
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Conservation

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The yellow marsh saxifrage is listed in the UK Biodiversity Action Plans (UKBAPs), and is included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme (SRP). Recent surveys of this plant have suggested that known populations may have been under estimated through the grazing off of flowers heads. This makes it hard to recognise the plant in the field. It is realised, however, that upland over-grazing has to be controlled if this species is to have a future in the UK and, as a precautionary measure, seeds have been collected and stored in the Millennium Seed Bank by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Some of these seeds will be propagated and planted back in the wild on suitable sites as part of a re-introduction programme. As the yellow marsh saxifrage is threatened throughout its range, an important aspect of the work to conserve it has been co-operation with European conservation groups, to find out more about its biology.
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Description

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Yellow marsh saxifrage is a tufted, hairy plant, with stems of a reddish-brown. The leaves are spear-shaped and concentrated around the lower half of the stem. The flowers are bright yellow, sometimes showing small red spots.
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Habitat

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This is a plant of very particular requirements and needs a 'base-rich' soil, that is, soil fed by calcareous flushes of water. This type of habitat is scarce.
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Range

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Found throughout much of Europe, the yellow marsh saxifrage is threatened across much of its range. Once found in 13 counties in Britain, it is now restricted to some 20 sites, most of them in the north Pennine region of England.
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Status

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Protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act (1981) and listed in Appendix 1 of the Bern Convention and Annexes II and IV of the EC Habitats Directive.
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Threats

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This species is a victim of over-grazing, often loosing its flowers before they can produce seeds, and the effects of agricultural improvement.
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Description

provided by eFloras
Herbs perennial, 6.5-21 cm tall. Stem sparsely brown crisped villous. Basal leaves with petiole 1.2-2.2 cm, margin brown crisped villous; leaf blade elliptic, lanceolate, or oblong to linear-oblong, 1.1-2.2 cm × 3-10 mm, both surfaces glabrous, margin brown pilose or glabrous. Cauline leaves lanceolate to oblong, 0.4-2.2 cm × 1-6 mm, both surfaces glabrous, margin brown crisped villous; proximal ones larger with petiole longer, distal ones smaller with petiole gradually shorter to absent. Flower solitary or cyme 2-3.7 cm and 2-4-flowered; pedicels 0.9-1.3 cm, brown crisped villous. Sepals erect, then spreading to reflexed, elliptic, or ovate to narrowly so, 3-6.1 × 1.5-3.5 mm, abaxially and marginally brown crisped villous or glabrous on both surfaces, veins 3-11(-13), not confluent at apex, apex obtuse or acute. Petals yellow, elliptic or obovate to narrowly ovate, 7.9-10.3 × 2.9-6.8 mm, 2-callose, 7-11(-17)-veined, base with a claw 0.3-0.5 mm, apex subobtuse or acute. Stamens 4-5.5 mm. Ovary subsuperior, ovoid, 2-5 mm; styles 1-1.8 mm. Fl. and fr. Jun-Sep. 2n = 16, 32.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of China Vol. 8: 312 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of China @ eFloras.org
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Wu Zhengyi, Peter H. Raven & Hong Deyuan
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Distribution

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Shanxi, W Sichuan, Xinjiang, Xizang, NW Yunnan [Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, Sikkim, Tajikistan; C and N Europe, ?North America].
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of China Vol. 8: 312 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of China @ eFloras.org
editor
Wu Zhengyi, Peter H. Raven & Hong Deyuan
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eFloras.org
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Habitat

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Forests, alpine meadows, rock crevices; 2100-5000 m.
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Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Boulevard, St. Louis, MO, 63110 USA
bibliographic citation
Flora of China Vol. 8: 312 in eFloras.org, Missouri Botanical Garden. Accessed Nov 12, 2008.
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Flora of China @ eFloras.org
editor
Wu Zhengyi, Peter H. Raven & Hong Deyuan
project
eFloras.org
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Comprehensive Description

provided by North American Flora
Saxifraga propinqua R. Br.; Ross, Voy. 141. 1819 Hirculus punctatus Raf. Fl. Tell. 2: 69. 1836.
Saxifraga Hirculus alpina Lange, Consp. Fl. Groenl. 64. 1880. Not S. Hirculus alpina Eugler. 1872.
Leaves of the caudices 9-41 mm. long, the blades flat, elliptic or ellipticspatulate, glabrous, obtuse, often long-petioled ; flower-stalks 6-32 cm. tall, more or less pubescent, copiously so under the hypanthium, mostly 1-flowered ; sepals oblong to oblong-ovate, 3-4 mm. long, copiously ciliate, obtuse, reflexed at maturity; petals elliptic to oblong, 9-13 mm. long, clawless ; filaments subulate ; follicles 12-16 mm. long.
Type locality : Switzerland.
Distribution : Circumboreal and alpine, southward along the northwest coast to British Columbia and in the Rocky Mountains to Colorado.
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bibliographic citation
John Kunkel SmaII, Per Axel Rydber, Nathaniel Lord Britton, Percy Wilson, Henry Hurd Rusby. 1905. ROSALES, PODOSTEMONACEAE, CRASSULACEAE, PENTHORACEAE and PARNASSIACEAE. North American flora. vol 22(2). New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY
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Saxifraga hirculus

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Saxifraga hirculus is a species of saxifrage, commonly called marsh saxifrage,[1] yellow marsh saxifrage,[2] or bog saxifrage. It is a perennial herb with yellow flowers and red stem, 5–30 cm high, found on bog landscape.[3][4]

References

  1. ^ BSBI List 2007 (xls). Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland. Archived from the original (xls) on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2014-10-17.
  2. ^ "Saxifraga hirculus". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 6 November 2015.
  3. ^ Godal, Anne Marit (ed.). "myrsildre". Store norske leksikon (in Norwegian). Oslo: Norsk nettleksikon. Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  4. ^ "Plants Profile". United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

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Saxifraga hirculus: Brief Summary

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Saxifraga hirculus is a species of saxifrage, commonly called marsh saxifrage, yellow marsh saxifrage, or bog saxifrage. It is a perennial herb with yellow flowers and red stem, 5–30 cm high, found on bog landscape.

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