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New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, N.B., VP-01554 (detail)



Livelong Saxifrage (Saxifraga paniculata) is a striking plant producing rosettes of succulent, finely toothed leaves and erect stems bearing clusters of small white flowers. The leaf-edges are encrusted with calcium carbonate (lime), secreted by small glands. And indeed this rare native saxifrage is found only on lime-rich rocks. It occurs mainly in arctic and subarctic regions, and was probably more frequent in the Maritimes following the end of the last Ice Age. With warming of the climate, it became restricted in New Brunswick to a few rocky ledges and cliffs along or near the cool Bay of Fundy. This specimen was probably collected on limestone outcrops at the Narrows of the Saint John River above the Reversing Falls. A saxifrage population at this site was known to various members of the Natural History Society of New Brunswick in the late 1800s, but the species has not been seen there since that time.



Collected by Agnes L. Warner in Saint John, New Brunswick, 26 June 1892.