Saxifraga hirculus

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaSaxifragaceaeSaxifragaSaxifraga hirculus


A stoloniferous perennial herb found in wet, base-rich flushes and mires, especially where the vegetation is checked by grazing. Formerly near sea level, it survives now only in its upland localities usually at 300-650 m, but reaching 750 m (Mickle Fell, N.W. Yorks.).



World Distribution

Circumpolar Boreo-arctic Montane element.

Broad Habitats

Fen, marsh and swamp (not wooded)

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 9

Reaction (Ellenberg): 6

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 2.4

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 13.2

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1253

Life form information

Height (cm): 20

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Rhizome shortly creeping

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 20

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 16

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.3

Distribution information

Plantatt Conservation Status


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 (136c)
Curtis TGF, McGough HN
1988.  The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
Hedberg KO
1992.  Taxonomic differentiation in Saxifraga hirculus L. (Saxifragaceae), a circumpolar Arctic-Boreal species of Central Asiatic origin. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 109:377-393.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1999)
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Webb DA, Gornall RJ
1989.  Saxifrages of Europe.
Wigginton MJ
1999.  British Red Data Books. 1. Vascular plants, edn 3.