An online resource based on the award-winning nature guide

Early Saxifrage Flowering

5-8-13 early saxifrage153Early saxifrage (Micranthes virginiensis) is well named – it flowers early in the spring, and is often found growing in or on rocks. (The name saxifrage derives from the Latin words “saxum” meaning rock and “frangere,” to break. When the small seeds of saxifrage lodge in rock crevices and germinate, the plant looks as though it split the rock.) If you look closely you’ll see that early saxifrage’s flower stalk has many hairs – they are glandular and their stickiness is thought to deter ants from taking nectar from the flowers, so that it can attract more efficient pollinators.

5 responses

  1. Jackie

    My beautiful Lilacs are blooming and fragrant as ever. The scary part is that I do not see one bee. This is frightening to me.

    May 8, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    • Where are you, Jackie? I’m in central Vermont, and while our bees are out, our lilacs have not yet bloomed. I’ve actually seen some bumblebees on the unopened buds, as if probing for an opening.

      May 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm

  2. Dianne and Ed

    Wonderful photo and great explanation… I am loving your posts. Such a treat to see ‘New Post’ in my email messages:-) 🙂

    Naturally yours, Dianne

    May 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm

  3. Mary, Check this out, you are both on the same wave length!

    Helen Downing 173 Mt. Moosilauke Hwy. Wentworth, NH 03282

    May 9, 2013 at 1:33 am

    • Thanks, Helen! I love Charley’s posts — and his book! I think his saxifrage is a lot more interesting than mine! Mary

      May 9, 2013 at 4:26 pm

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