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Saxifrage, Purple (Saxifraga oppositifolia)
Also known as: french knot moss
General: Low, matted cushion plant.
Leaves & Twigs: The plant's short stems are completely covered by many tiny (3–6 mm) pairs of overlapping, grey-green, scale-like leaves.
Flowers & Fruit: Purple (and rarely, white), star-shaped flowers (1 cm wide) are large in comparison to the leaves. Flowers grow on short stalks, often in great profusion, above the cushion of leaves.
Habitat: This species of saxifrage occupies moist, calcium-rich gravel areas in arctic and alpine environments. It also colonizes barren, exposed rock and damp crevices in cliffs.
Sampling: If these plants are very abundant, mark a patch 1-metre square to observe. Otherwise, tag a single cushion plant. The whole cushion plant tends to flower at once.