Saxifraga oppositifolia

Tracheophyta MagnoliopsidaSaxifragaceaeSaxifragaSaxifraga oppositifolia


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.



World Distribution

Circumpolar Arctic-montane element.

© K.J. Walker, BSBI

Broad Habitats

Light (Ellenberg): 8

Moisture (Ellenberg): 6

Reaction (Ellenberg): 8

Nitrogen (Ellenberg): 2


Salt Tolerance (Ellenberg): 0

January Mean Temperature (Celsius): 1.8

July Mean Temperature (Celsius): 12.1

Annual Precipitation (mm): 1980

Life form information

Height (cm): 3

Perennation - primary


Life Form - primary




Clonality - primary

Extensively creeping and rooting at nodes

Distribution information

Count of 10km squares in Great Britain: 276

Count of 10km squares in Ireland: 22

Count of 10km squares in the Channel Isles: 0

Atlas Change Index: -0.45

Weighted Changed Factor: -24

Weighted Change Factor Confidence (90%)


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 (139b)
Brysting AK, Gabrielsen TM, Sørlibråten O, Ytrehorn O, Brochmann C
1996.  The Purple Saxifrage, Saxifraga oppositifolia, in Svalbard: two taxa or one? Polar Research. 15:93-105.
Curtis TGF, McGough HN
1988.  The Irish Red Data Book. 1. Vascular Plants.
Hultén E, Fries M
1986.  Atlas of north European vascular plants north of the Tropic of Cancer. 3 vols.
Jalas & Suominen (1999)
Jones V, Richards PW
1956.  Biological Flora of the British Isles. No. 57. Saxifraga oppositifolia L. Journal of Ecology. 44:300-316.
Meusel H, Jäger E, Weinert E
1965.  Vergleichende Chorologie der zentraleuropäischen Flora. Volume 1. 2 vols.
Webb DA, Gornall RJ
1989.  Saxifrages of Europe.