Merten's saxifrage on moist slopes east of Rowena Overlook, between Mosier and The Dalles, OR.......April 5, 1997.
Merten's saxifrage is a perennial with flowering stems arising 15-40 cm high above 1-3 basal leaves which sit atop short thick rhizomes. The herbage is smooth to having long, soft, spreading hairs or glands on the stem. The succulent leaves are large and round with large teeth on the margins (See photo at right.) The hairy leaf stems are 1-4 times longer than the blades which are 3-10 cm wide and nearly as long.
The inflorescence is an open cyme or panicle, with many flowers. Some of the flowers may be replaced by pink bulblets. The 5 petals are white, oblong-elliptic to obovate in shape, narrowing quickly to a clawless or short-clawed base. The petals are each about 3-5 mm long. The calyx is cleft nearly to the base, with each of the 5 lanceolate to lanceolate-oblong lobes reflexed outwards. The stamens are roughly equal in length to the petals with pink anthers.
Merten's saxifrage may be found on wet shady cliffs or along streams.
Merten's saxifrage may be found from southern Alaska south between the coast and the Cascade crest to the central Sierra Nevada of California. In British Columbia, it extends eastward to northwest Montana and south through central Idaho to northeastern Oregon.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it may be found primarily on the Oregon side of the river between the elevations of 100'-4000' from west of Crown Point to as far east as Mayer State Park.
Merten's saxifrage as seen on moist cuts in the trail to the upper falls at McCord Creek, Columbia River Gorge..........April 22, 2015.
A late season leaf of merten's saxifrage as seen along the Wahclella Falls Trail, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area..........October 15, 2012.
Leaves of merten's saxifrage as seen at a bench above Interstate 84 about one-half mile west of the Twin Tunnels, Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area.........April 3, 2015.
Merten's saxifrage on moist slopes east of Rowena Overlook, between Mosier and The Dalles, OR....April 5, 1997.