Spotted Saxifrage (Saxifraga bronchialis ssp. austromontana) is one of my absolute favorite Rocky Mountain wildflowers. I’m generally partial to cute things and this little flower is just plain CUTE.

The habitat of the Spotted Saxifrage is typically in subalpine and alpine life zones but I’ve seen it in the montane zone as well.

Spotted Saxifrage, near Mount Evans

Spotted Saxifrage, near Mount Evans

The Latin word saxifraga means “rock breaker.” Depending on the description one is reading, this name refers either to the rocky habitat in which the plant often lives OR it indicates the plant’s alleged medicinal use for treatment of kidney stones.

Spotted Saxifrage, McCullough Gulch

Spotted Saxifrage, McCullough Gulch

The Spotted Saxifrage is a larval host and nectar source for a butterfly called the Astarte Fritillary.

Spotted Saxifrage, McCullough Gulch

Spotted Saxifrage, McCullough Gulch

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