Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago

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S.G. Aiken, M.J. Dallwitz, L.L. Consaul, C.L. McJannet, R.L. Boles, G.W. Argus, J.M. Gillett, P.J. Scott, R. Elven, M.C. LeBlanc, L.J. Gillespie, A.K. Brysting, H. Solstad, and J.G. Harris

Parnassia L.

English: Grass-of-parnassus.

Saxifragaceae, Saxifrage family.

Published in Sp. Pl. 273. 1753.

Vegetative morphology. Plants 5–35 cm high; perennial herbs; caespitose. Taproot present, or only fibrous roots present. Ground level or underground stems absent. Caudex present. Aerial stems erect. Leaves heterophyllous, or not heterophyllous; mainly basal, or basal in a rosette; patent; alternate; dying annually and non-persistent, or marcescent. Petioles present, or absent; 0–100 mm long (upper leaves sometimes sub-sessile). Leaf blades simple. Leaf blade bases cordate, or attenuate, or rounded. Blades 4–12.75–30 mm long, 4–20 mm wide, straight, ovate, flat, veins palmate or with inconspicuous veins. Blade adaxial surface glabrous. Blade abaxial surface glabrous. Hydathodes absent. Blade apices acute, or obtuse. Apical leaflet base not distinctly stipitate.

Reproductive morphology. Flowering stems with leaves, or without leaves. Flowers solitary. Flowers medium-sized, or large. Sepals conventional; 5; free; 1.5–2.375–3 mm long; 4–5.5–7 mm wide; green; herbaceous. Calyx tip not mucronate; glabrous. Petals conventional; free; same length as the calyx, or longer than the calyx; 5; white; elliptic, or ovate, or obovate; unlobed; 4–12 mm long; 2–3 mm wide. Stamens present, or absent; (3–)5–8(–10) (with staminoidia: thin scales that are entire or with gland-tipped segments); stamen filaments glabrous. Anthers yellow (1/1); ovoid, or sub-globose; 0.8–1 mm long. Nectaries present. Receptacle 2.5–3 mm high. Ovary superior; carpels 2–4; syncarpous. Ovaries glabrous. Styles absent. Placentation axile (1/1). Ovules per ovary 100–168–300. Fruit with calyx persisting; dry; a capsule; spherical, or ovoid; yellowish, or brown, or green at maturity; 6–8.5–12 mm long; 4–12 mm wide; dehiscent; splitting to the base into separate segments. Seeds 100–300; 0.4–0.625–0.8 mm long; brown, or yellowish; surfaces smooth, winged.

General notes. Recent molecular studies support the placement of this genus in a separate family, the Parnassiaceae.


This publication is available on the internet (posted May 2011) and on CD-ROM (published in 2007). These versions are identical in content, except that the errata page for CD-ROM is accessible on the main index page of the web version.

Recommended citation for the web-based version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa. http://nature.ca/aaflora/data, accessed on DATE.

Recommended citation for the CD-ROM version of this publication: Aiken, S.G., Dallwitz, M.J., Consaul, L.L., McJannet, C.L., Boles, R.L., Argus, G.W., Gillett, J.M., Scott, P.J., Elven, R., LeBlanc, M.C., Gillespie, L.J., Brysting, A.K., Solstad, H., and Harris, J.G. 2007. Flora of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago: Descriptions, Illustrations, Identification, and Information Retrieval. [CD-ROM] NRC Research Press, National Research Council of Canada, Ottawa.

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