Micranthes foliolosa (R. Br.) Gornall

Star Saxifrage

Habitat: Mossy alpine rocks. [Alpine or subalpine (non-forested, upland)]

Range: Circumboreal, south to Mount Katahdin, Maine.

Aids to Identification: Saxifrages are small herbaceous plants with basal rosettes of leaves and small 5-petalled flowers on stalks. This saxifrage is distinguished from other similar species by having no leaves along the stem, a single terminal white flower, and lateral flowers replaced by vegetative bulbils. It grows to 5-20 cm in height with leaves 1-2 cm long and petals 4-5 mm.

Ecological characteristics: This species is known to occur in the United States only on Mt. Katahdin.

Phenology: Flowers July - August.

Family: Saxifragaceae

Synonyms: Hydatica foliolosa (R. Br.) Small; Saxifraga foliolosa R. Br.; Saxifraga stellaris L. var. comosa Poir.; Spatularia foliolosa (R. Br.) Small.

Known Distribution in Maine: This rare plant has been documented from a total of 1 town(s) in the following county(ies): Piscataquis.

Reason(s) for rarity: Disjunct from principal range.

Conservation considerations: Populations could be threatened by heavy recreational (hiking) use.