34. Micranthes subapetala (E. E. Nelson) Small in N. L. Britton et al., N. Amer. Fl. 22: 139. 1905.
Yellowstone saxifrage Yellowstone saxifrage
Saxifraga subapetala E. E. Nelson, Erythea 7: 169. 1899; S. oregana Howell var. subapetala (E. E. Nelson) C. L. Hitchcock; S. rydbergii Small ex Rydberg
Plants solitary or in clumps, with bulbils on caudices. Leaves basal; petiole usually indistinct, flattened, ca. 2 cm; blade ovate or elliptic to oblanceolate, 3-15 cm, fleshy, base cuneate, margins entire or minutely denticulate, ciliate, surfaces hairy. Inflorescences 30+-flowered, ± constricted (spikelike) to ± open thyrses, 20-75 cm, yellow- to pink- (rarely purplish-) tipped stipitate-glandular. Flowers: sepals reflexed, ovate; petals absent, sometimes 1-5, pink to purplish, not spotted, elliptic, clawed, 1-2 mm, shorter than sepals; filaments linear, flattened; pistils connate to 1/2 their lengths; ovary inferior. Capsules dark purple, valvate. 2n = 76.
Flowering summer. Subalpine and alpine meadows, wet banks, ledges; 1200-3000 m; Idaho, Mont., Wyo.
Although the species is usually distinctive, some populations of Micranthes subapetala in northern Wyoming appear more similar to M. hieraciifolia than to typical M. subapetala and may need to be re-evaluated. The distributional disjunction between the two taxa is about 1600 kilometers.