Saxifraga lyallii

Submitted by Lori S. on Wed, 03/17/2010 - 22:47

Lyall's, or red-stemmed, saxifrage (Saxifraga lyallii) is one of the most common saxifrages in this area, and it can form dense tracts along the banks of snow-melt streams up high, and in places where water runs under the scree. Where it grows in number, it adds big swaths of colour!

It seems, from the USDA range map, that this tends to be a more northerly species:

It's not one I've ever tried to grow... given its preferred habitat in the wild, I suspect it might not care much for the dry conditions in my yard... and I don't think I could do it justice, compared to how we see it in nature...


Submitted by Hoy on Thu, 03/18/2010 - 05:54

This saxifrage reminds me a lot of S. stellata which is very common in Norway and likes similar places although it doesn't grow in dense mats. It is always a pleasure to meet any saxifrage in the mountains!

Submitted by Boland on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 16:47

Wow Lori...I've seen lots of S. lyallii in the Rockies but no clumps like you photographed!  I saw them lower down around Frank's Slide..maybe those would do better in Calgary than the high elevation types.

Submitted by Lori S. on Fri, 03/19/2010 - 23:43

It seems to grow in abundance like that in certain areas where there is an ample flow of snow melt in the higher alpine zone.  Those photos are from a couple of different places.  

Submitted by McGregorUS on Sat, 03/20/2010 - 05:12


That is just stunning - I've seen it in Alaska in similar very damp conditions but I just love the picture with the developing red ovaries - great.