Species in the Saxifragaceae are annual, biennial, or perennial herbs. Their leaves either grow in rosettes at the base of the plant or on the stem arranged in alternate or opposite fashion. The leaves may have toothed or untoothed margins and have simple blades in our species. The flowers are solitary or arranged in branched inflorescences. The flowers are usually actinomorphic (radially symmetrical) and usually have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts. There are usually 5 sepals and 5 petals, although the petals are absent in some species. There are usually 5 to 10 stamens. The attachment point for these flower parts may be below or above the ovary. The basal portions of the sepals, petals, and stamens are fused into a floral cup (called a hypanthium). There is 1 ovary usually comprised of 2 carpels. There are 2-4 styles and 2-4 stigmas. The fruit is a dry capsule or follicle that has 2 to 4 beaks. Several species formerly thought to belong to this family have now been placed in the Hydrangeaceae, Parnassiaceae, or Penthoraceae.
This Family’s Genera in New England:
Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key