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Aquatic and Wetland Vascular Plants of the Northern Great Plains

Saxifragaceae - The Saxifrage Family


Perennial herbs with basal rosettes of leaves and scapose inflorescences or with leafy stems and terminal inflorescences (Penthorum). Leaves simple, petiolate, stipulate or exstipulate (Penthorum), all basal or with 1 sessile or short-petioled leaf on the otherwise naked scape, or the leaves cauline (Penthorum), the blades entire, crenate or serrate. Flowers perfect, regular, perigynous, solitary on scapes or in simple or branched racemes; sepals 5; petals 5 or none (Penthorum), white and entire (Parnassia) or green and pinnately divided into fine segments (Mitella); stamens 10 or 5, when 5, the stamens alternating with staminodes; pistil 1 or 5, when 1 the pistil 2- or 4-carpellary and stigmas 2 or 4, sessile or nearly so; when 5, the pistils fused laterally in a ring; ovary(ies) superior to partly inferior, 1-celled. Fruit a 2- or 4-valved capsule or each pistil ripening as a circumscissile capsule, containing few to many seeds.

Lead Characteristic Go To
1 Leaves cauline; pistils 5, fused near the base. Genus Penthorum
1 Leaves mostly basal; pistil solitary, 2- or 4-carpellary. Lead 2
2 Leaves crenate; flowers greenish, in few- to several-flowered racemes; petals pinnately segmented. Genus Mitella
2 Leaves entire; flowers white, solitary on the scapes; petals entire. Genus Parnassia


25. Saxifragaceae, the Saxifrage Family
1. Mitella L. -- Bishop's cap
1. Mitella nuda L.
2. Parnassia L. -- Grass-of-Parnassus
1. Parnassia glauca Raf.
2. Parnassia palustris L.
3. Parnassia parviflora DC.
3. Penthorum L. -- Ditch stonecrop
1. Penthorum sedoides L.


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