FLORA OF ICELAND elements: Saxifraga nivalis, Alpine Snow Saxifrage, Snæsteinbrjótur

Saxifraga nivalis; The Alpine Snow Saxifrage is quite common in mountain regions of Iceland. It can however, be found almost everywhere on Iceland where terrains are rocky. Characteristic are the densely clustered flowers on the top of the flowering stems and the relative broad round leaves (1-2 cm).

Having said this, though, there is another very similar species: the Slender Snow Saxifrage ( S. tenuis). They are very hard to distinguish. The two basic differentiating traits are (1) the leaf margins: they are obtuse triangular lobed in S. nivalis (alpine snow saxifrage) and rounded lobed in S. tenuis (slender snow saxifrage. (2) the female stigma's are straight in S. nivalis (alpine snow saxifrage) but hooked/bent downwards in S. tenuis (slender snow saxifrage). Another difference is the length of the stem with flowers. At least 8 cm (up to 15 cm) in the Alpine Snow Saxifrage, at most 8 cm (or less: to 2 cm) for the Slender Snow Saxifrage. It is member of the saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae). The Icelandic name of this species is Snæsteinbrjótur.

A brief introduction to Iceland plants
Text & Photographs by Dick Vuijk
- unless stated otherwise
Other Saxifages and close relatives

Other Saxifrages and close relatives

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Natural History of Iceland Site  in Dutch

Natural History of Iceland Site  Dutch