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I have selected Vasey's taxonomic classification of Forbe's Saxifrage. This is something of a compromise. Some botanists in Illinois and Indiana (e.g., Mohlenbrock, 2002) classify Forbe's Saxifrage as a separate species, Saxifraga forbesii, rather than a variety of Saxifraga pensylvanica (Swamp Saxifrage). Other botanists don't recognize Forbe's Saxifrage at even the varietal level. Generally, Forbe's Saxifrage is supposed to have hairier basal leaves than Swamp Saxifrage, and the petals of its flowers are longer than the sepals. Swamp Saxifrage is supposed to have slightly smaller flowers, where the petals are about the same length as the sepals. Swamp Saxifrage is found primarily in the northern half of Illinois, where it is found in both sunny and shaded wetlands. The only other Saxifrage in Illinois is Saxifraga virginiensis (Early Saxifrage), which has been found only in Hardin County. This latter species is much smaller in size; it prefers drier upland areas and can bloom as early as mid-spring.


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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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