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Saxifrage, Prickly (Saxifraga tricuspidata)
Also known as: three-toothed saxifrage
General: Prickly saxifrage is a loosely matted perennial (5–15 cm tall), that grows in large bunches, close to the ground.
Leaves & Twigs: The stiff, three-toothed leaves on this plant give prickly saxifrage its name. The leaves (7–14 mm long) are leathery and slightly reddish in colour, and broadest at the tip. Dead leaves remain on the stem for several years and provide protection for developing winter buds.
Flowers & Fruit: Between three and 10 creamy white flowers appear at the end of the saxifrage stems. Each flower (4–7 mm long) has five sepals and five petals.
Habitat: This plant can often be found in dry, exposed, rocky areas, including rock crevices.
Sampling: Select a typical patch of plants, if the plants are very abundant, mark off a 1-metre-square section to observe.