Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)
A family represented here by only a few genera, including some well-known shrubs. The flowers have long or short tubes, commonly united to the ovary. In species of Ribes (currants and gooseberries), the sepals form a tube topped by generous lobes and inconspicuous petals. The sepals are colored and petal-like. Stamens usually number 5 to 10.
Heuchera duranniBacig. Duran Alum Root. A finely glandular-hairy perennial with slender, wiry stems, 5–14 in (12–35 cm) high, from a heavy root crown. Leaves are roundish or kidney-shaped, averaging 1/2 in (13 mm) wide, with five to nine blunt lobes, on petioles 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) long. The inflorescence is 1 1/2 to 3 in (4–7.7 cm) long, the flowers close along the stem. Each tiny flower, 1/8 in (3 mm) wide, is composed of a top-shaped flower tube crowned by five triangular sepals, barely exceeded by the narrow petals. Flower: Petals yellowish, sepals tinged pink.
Distribution. Uncommon; rocky limestone slopes or flats; White Mountains; Desert Scrub to Alpine Zone, 6,000–12,200 ft (1,829–3,720 m).
Heuchera rubescensTorr. var. pachypoda(Greene) Rosendahl. Alum Root. (Plate 6.201) A perennial with the same growth habit as H. duranni . The plant is less glandular and the leaves slightly larger. Leaf lobes are more irregular and less blunt, and hairs on the edges are large and coarse. The inflorescence is a panicle with flowers loosely clustered on fine, threadlike branches. The flower tube is top-shaped, with five oblong lobes one-third as long as the tube, whitish or rose tinged and tipped with green. Narrow petals exceed the sepals, the entire flower hardly 1/4 in (6 mm) long. Flower: Petals white.
Distribution. Widespread; crevices of cliffs and sheltered, rocky places, mostly where some moisture trickles down; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 5,800–10,000 ft (1,768–3,049 m).
Jamesia americanaTorr. & Gray var.californica(Small) Jepson. Cliffbush. (Plate 6.202) A deciduous, sparsely leafy shrub, 1 1/2–4 ft (0.5–1.3 m) high, the branches usually supported by rocks or cliffs. Leaf blades are oblong to roundish, 1/2–1 1/2 in (13–38 mm) long, the upper portion coarsely toothed, green above and gray with dense hairs below. Petioles are short. Flowers are in small, dense clusters, terminal on the branchlets. They are five-parted. The calyx is hairy with triangular lobes, and the larger petals are 1/4–3/8 in (6–10 mm) long. The fruit is a many-seeded capsule almost 1/2 in (13 mm) long. Flower: Rose-pink.
Distribution. Uncommon; about rocks or cliffs; Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Subalpine Zone, 7,200–10,000 ft (2,195–3,049 m).
Philadelphus stramineusRydb. Littleleaf Mock Orange. (Philadelphus microphyllus Gray ssp. stramineus [Rydb.] C.L. Hitchc.) (Plate 6.203) A deciduous shrub, 3–6 ft (1–2 m) high, with opposite branches and leaves. The leaves are narrowly ovate, 3/8–1/2 in (10–13 mm) long, and coated with appressed white hairs, which give them a gray-green color. Flowers are solitary, or a few may be grouped at the ends of short branchlets. The ovary is almost completely inferior, essentially below the four sepals and petals. The latter are 1/4–3/8 in (6–10 cm) long, broad and spreading above the base. The fruit is a dry capsule, hemispherical in shape, with the triangular sepals persistent at the top. Flower: White.
Distribution. Uncommon; cliffs and rocky places; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,700–9,000 ft (1,738–2,744 m).
Ribes aureumPursh var. aureum.Golden Currant. A relatively tall, deciduous shrub, 3–8 ft (1–2.6 m) high, without spines. Branches are smooth, erect or ascending, and the foliage green. Leaf blades are 1/2–1 1/2 in (13–64 mm) broad, most strongly three-lobed with shallow lobes or teeth between, on short petioles. Flowers are clustered on short stems from the leaf nodes along the branches. They are long-tubed with an interior ovary. The tube, nearly 1/2 in (13 mm) long, is topped with five broad sepal lobes 3/16 in (5 mm) long and five lesser petals. The fruit is a yellow to red or black berry, 1/4 in (6 mm) in diameter. This is a most attractive Ribes species, with showy flowers and wandlike branches. Flower: Tube, sepals, and petals yellow.
Distribution. Uncommon; moist places; Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 7,000–8,500 ft (2,134–2,591 m).
Ribes cereumDouglas. Wax Currant. (Plate 6.204) A rigid, intricately branched deciduous shrub, 2–6 ft (5–15 cm) high, lacking spines. The foliage is green, somewhat sticky glandular, and heavily fragrant. Leaves are 1/2–1 1/4 in (13–30 mm) broad, finely toothed, obscurely three-lobed, fan-shaped, and glossy. The flowers, which are in clusters on short stems from the leaf nodes along the branches, resemble those of R. aureum, but the entire ovary, tube, and sepals are hardly 1/2 in (13 mm)
long. The fruit is a shining red berry up to 1/2 in (13 mm) in diameter. Flower: Whitish to pink.
Distribution. Common; rocky slopes; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 7,000–12,500 ft (2,134–3,811 m).
Ribes inermeRydb. Straggly Gooseberry. (Ribes divaricatum Douglas var. inerme (Rydb.) McMinn) A deciduous shrub, 2–5 ft (0.6–1.6 m) high, with spreading, commonly simple stems, most with one to three short spines at the nodes. Leaves are 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) broad and deeply divided into three to five main lobes, which are again toothed or lobed, on very slender petioles 1/2–3/4 in (13–20 mm) long. They are thin and green. Flowers are similar to the other species of Ribes in form but shorter, only about 1/4 in long. The clusters are few-flowered. Berries are smooth, 1/4–3/8 in (6–10 mm) in diameter, dark purple. Flower: Greenish or purplish.
Distribution. Uncommon; moist, shaded places; Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 7,000–8,500 ft (2,134–2,591 m).
Ribes velutinumvar. glanduliferum. Plateau Gooseberry. (Plate 6.205) A rigidly branched, leafy shrub, 1 1/2–6 ft (0.5–2 m) high, with a single long, slender spine at each node. Leaf blades are deeply divided into three to five lobes, which are blunt-toothed. They are green, 3/8–3/4 in (1–2 cm) broad, on petioles longer than the blades. Flowers are similar to the other taxa in this genus but have a short tube topped with five sepal lobes and minute petals, the whole only about 1/8 in (3 mm) long. Berries are dark purple, 1/4 in (6 mm) in diameter, and densely glandular hairy. Flower: Yellowish to white.
Distribution. Common; dry slopes; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 5,500–10,000 ft (1,677–3,049 m).