The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of brook saxifrage. Note the broad, rounded petals with 2 yellow dots at their base and the 10 club-shaped stamen filaments. Photographed along the Umatilla Rim Trail #3080, Umatilla N.F.........June 24, 2007.
Brook saxifrage has recently been reclassified as Saxifraga odontoloma from S. arguta..
Also known as mountain meadow saxifrage, brook saxifrage is a perennial with a single, erect and leafless stem from 20-60 cm high arising from a cluster of basal leaves atop well-developed horizontal rootstocks. Bulblets are generally absent from the rootstocks at the base of the petioles. The herbage is glabrous below and somewhat glandular-hairy above, the hairs being tipped with red, purple or yellowish glands. The leaf blades are kidney-shaped with many (15-29) rounded to pointed teeth around the margins (See photo at right.). The margins are not double-toothed (as in Merten's saxifrage) and the teeth are about equal in size and evenly spaced. The blades are 2-8 cm wide and about 2/3 as long.
The inflorescence is found atop the bare stem. It consists of open, cymose panicles with the glandular-haired branches spreading and rising. The calyx is cleft almost its entire length of 1.5-2 mm. The 5 purplish calyx lobes are oblong-ovate or oblong-lanceolate. The 5 white petals are each orbicular in shape and spreading, from 3-4 mm long. The petals may all be equal in size, or 2-3 may be larger than the other 2. The base of each petals is rounded and clawed and bears to yellow dots (See photo above.). The 5 white stamens are about equal in length to the petals. The white filaments are narrowly club-shaped. The ovary is superior with 2 (up to 4) carpels which are fused 1/3-3/5 of their length. The ovary is red to purple in color.
Merten's Saxifrage Saxifraga mertensiana: The leaf petioles and stems are covered with long, soft and spreading hairs. The leaf blades are similar in shape to those of brook saxifrage, but have double-toothed margins that are more deeply incised (up to 1/4 the distance into the center of the blade). The white petals are all equal in size. They are narrowly ovate, tapering gradually to a pointed tip and have abruptly tapered, clawed bases that lack 2 yellow spots. Often found on wet, shaded cliffs.
Brook saxifrage may be found in wet meadows and along streams or springs at higher elevations.
Brook saxifrage may be found from southern Alaska south through British Columbia to the Cascade and Olympic Mts. of Washington and Oregon and the Sierra Nevada of California to southern California It may be found east to Alberta and south through the mountains of Idaho, Montana, northeastern Oregon and in the Rocky Mts. south to Arizona and Mew Mexico.