Golden Saxifrage


This month I’m conducting surveys for four-toed salamanders throughout northwestern Massachusetts, and after spending some time crawling through swamps I feel inspired to showcase one of my favorite early spring wildflowers.  Golden saxifrage (Saxifragaceae: Chrysosplenium americanum), also known as water carpet, is common in seepy areas throughout New England.  I don’t know much about it beyond that, but I suspect its tiny flowers are overlooked by most people, and I like the way the bright orange anthers are arranged in little squares.


The flowerbuds, too, are in the form of neat little square packets.


Here’s a more zoomed-out view of the plant:

water carpet flowers 4

The flowers are only out in the spring, and the rest of the year the plant just looks like this:

water carpet patch 2

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