Saxifraga rivularis

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaSaxifragaceaeSaxifragaSaxifraga rivularis


A perennial, bulbiliferous and stoloniferous herb of basic rocks. S. rivularis grows on ledges or under overhangs, in damp, steep, N.- to E.-facing gullies, or more rarely in bryophyte-rich flushes on exposed scree. From 795 m in the Lairig Ghru (Easterness) to 1200 m on Ben Nevis (Westerness).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Arctic-montane element; absent from mountains of C. Europe.

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 6

Moisture (Ellenberg): 9

Reaction (Ellenberg): 5

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): -0.3

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 10.8

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1941

Life form information

Height (cm): 10

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Clonality - secondary

Detaching ramets above ground (often axillary)

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 21

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 0

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: 0.19

Distribution information

JNCC Designations


PLANTATT - Attributes of British and Irish plants. (.zip 1455KB) This dataset was compiled and published in 2004, and last updated in November 2008. Download includes an Excel spreadsheet of the attributes, and a PDF explaining the background and nomenclature. Note that the PDF version is the booklet as published, whereas the Excel spreadsheet incorporates subsequent corrections. A hardcopy can be purchased from the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology.

Atlas text references

Atlas (138a)
Hollingsworth PM, Tebbitt M, Watson KJ, Gornall RJ
1998.  Conservation genetics of an arctic species, Saxifraga rivularis L., in Britain. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 128:1-14.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1999)
Webb DA, Gornall RJ
1989.  Saxifrages of Europe.
Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.