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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 8 | Saxifragaceae | Micranthes

15. Micranthes micranthidifolia (Haworth) Small, Fl. S.E. U.S. 501, 1331. 1903.

Branch-lettuce Branch-lettuce

Robertsonia micranthidifolia Haworth, Syn. Pl. Succ., 322. 1812; Aulaxis micranthidifolia (Haworth) Haworth; Saxifraga micranthidifolia (Haworth) Steudel

Plants solitary or in groups, with bulbils on caudices. Leaves basal; petiole ± indistinct, (broad), flattened, 3-15 cm; blade lanceolate to oblanceolate, 4-35 cm, thin, base attenuate, margins irregularly serrate to dentate, ciliate, surfaces sparsely hairy. Inflorescences (30-)50+-flowered, very open, lax thyrses, 30-75 cm, pink- to purplish-tipped stipitate-glandular; (bracts gradually smaller distally). Flowers: sepals strongly reflexed, oblong; petals white, with 2 basal yellow spots that sometimes appear as 1 (sometimes faded in dried material), ± elliptic to spatulate, clawed, 2-3 mm, longer than sepals; filaments strongly club-shaped; pistils distinct almost to base; ovary superior, (to 1/3 adnate to hypanthium). Capsules green, sometimes purplish, folliclelike. 2n = 22.

Flowering spring. Rocky seepage slopes, stream banks; 400-2100 m; Ga., Ky., Md., N.C., Pa., S.C., Va., W.Va.

Micranthes micranthidifolia was formerly gathered by local people in the southern Appalachians as a spring "green" (hence the common name, "branch" being dialect for a small stream); it is still occasionally seen in local grocery stores.


 

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