Saxifraga eschscholtzii Sternb.

Gillespie, Lynn J., Saarela, Jeffery M., Sokoloff, Paul C. & Bull, Roger D., 2015, New vascular plant records for the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, PhytoKeys 52, pp. 23-79 : 56

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scientific name

Saxifraga eschscholtzii Sternb.


Saxifraga eschscholtzii Sternb.

Common name.

Eschscholtz’s saxifrage



Comments: Collected on Bathurst Island by S. Edlund in 1975, this is only the second collection of this species from the CAA, and the first record from Nunavut. Edlund’s collection was shelved in the backlog of the National Herbarium of Canada for nearly 40 years, and was only recently uncovered. However, its significance as a new record was noted on the newsprint accompanying the specimen, indicating its importance was apparent to the collector.

Though long known from the alpine tundra of northern Yukon and Alaska ( Cody 2000), the 1968 collection on Prince Patrick Island (mapped in Porsild and Cody 1980 and Aiken et al. 2007)-the first record for the Arctic Islands-extended the range of this species northeastwards by over 1000 km. The second collection on Bathurst Island pushes this species a further 500 km east in the CAA. The apparent gaps in this species distribution may be explained by its habit: when not in flower, it can resemble either the very common Saxifraga oppositifolia L. or a lichen ( Aiken et al. 2007); either scenario could account for the paucity of collections from the CAA.

Specimens examined.

Canada. Northwest Territories: Inuvik Region, Prince Patrick Island, Green Bay, gravelly slopes with northern exposure, 76°33'46"N, 118°51'28"W, 7 July 1968, Kuc s. n. (CAN-385465). Nunavut: Qikiqtaaluk Region, Bathurst Island, Bracebridge Inlet, GSC [Geological Survey of Canada] Site, 75°35'N, 101°00'W, 1 July 1975, Edlund 41 (CAN-605793).