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Family: Saxifragaceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Rosales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • SAXIFRAGE FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbs often with a basal rosette and leafless flowering stem; similar to the Rosaceae (e.g., radially symmetrical, 5-merous flowers with separate petals) but stipules usually absent; stamens only as many as or twice as many as the petals; carpels fewer than sepals. The somewhat similar Crassulaceae can be distinguished by their typically succulent habit and the usually separate (at least above) carpels of the same number as the sepals.

Diagnosis: Ours annual or perennial herbs, not succulent; leaves basal or alternate, simple, entire, toothed or lobed; flowers solitary, in panicles, or cymes; sepals 5; petals 5; stamens 5-10; pistils united or partly so; ovary superior or partly inferior; fruit a capsule or follicle-like.


Notes: A medium-sized (660 species in 35 genera), almost cosmopolitan, but especially n temperate and cold area family; most are perennial herbs and many are cultivated as ornamentals. Ribes, here treated in the Grossulariaceae, and Philadelphus, here treated in the Hydrangaceae, are sometimes placed in the Saxifragaceae. The genus Penthorum, here treated in the Crassulaceae, is sometimes put into the Saxifragaceae (e.g., Correll & Johnston 1970; Mahler 1988); other authors have separated it into its own family the Penthoraceae. Saxifragaceae show similarities to Crassulaceae and the two families are thought by some to be related (e.g., Heywood 1993). Saxifragaceae are also apparently related to the Rosaceae. (subclass Rosidae).