A prostrate to more or less densely caespitose perennial herb, growing on open, moist but well-drained, base-rich rocks and stony ground, mainly on cliff-faces, ledges, stony flushes and scree slopes, the southern sites having a northerly aspect. From near sea level to 1210 m (Ben Lawers, Mid Perth), but usually between 300 and 1000 m.
The distribution of S. oppositifolia is stable. There is little evidence to support the formal taxonomic recognition of prostrate as opposed to caespitose ecotypes.
Circumpolar Arctic-montane element.
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
1996. The Purple Saxifrage, Saxifraga oppositifolia, in Svalbard: two taxa or one? Polar Research. 15:93-105.
1988. The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
1986. Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1999)
1956. Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 57. Saxifraga oppositifolia L. Journal of Ecology. 44:300-316.
1965. Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
1989. Saxifrages of Europe.