Small Flowers with Five Petals and Radial Symmetry

Part C

These flowers have five separate petals and are radially symmetrical. The sepals may be separate or united. They are very small flowers with many being found in alpine areas.

The common name, genus and species, and family are given for each flower. Since different references sometimes give different scientific names, more than one name may be listed under the flower picture.

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Chickweed Family

  • The Chickweed Family has very small flowers with separate sepals. They were in the Caryophyllaceae Family and are still listed there in some references.
  • The Alpine Sandwort is a cushion-forming plant with numerous white flowers. It has blunt sepals. It's common in alpine areas.
  • Boreal Sandwort also forms dense cushions. The sepals are sharp rather than blunt. It is found in alpine and subalpine zones.
  • Needleleaf Sandwort has 10 red anthers. It has sharp pointed leaves. The stem has scattered flowers. It is common in dry open hillsides from the foothills to the alpine zone.
  • Alpine Chickweed petals are deeply lobed making them appear as 10 petals. It is restricted to high altitudes.
SandwortArctic SandwortBoreal

Boreal Sandwort

Tryphane rubella or Minuartia rubella

Alsinaceae or Caryophyllaceae

Alpine Sandwort

Lidia obtusiloba or Minuartia obtusiloba

Alsinaceae or Caryophyllaceae

SandwortNeedleleaf ChickweedMountain

Needleleaf or Fender's Sandwort

Eremogone fenderi

Alsinaceae or Caryophyllaceae

Alpine Chickweed

Cerastium beeringianum

Alsinaceae or Caryophyllaceae


Moss Campion

Silene acaulis



Pink Family

  • Moss Campion has clawed petals and united sepals. Moss Campion is a cushion plant with very short stems and many pink flowers. It is common on rocky or gravelly fields above timberline.


Saxifrage Family

  • The Saxifrage Family has sepals that are joined at least at the base. It has 5 or10 stamens.
  • Spotted Saxifrage is mat forming, and the petals are covered with red and orange dots.
  • Brook Saxifrage has leafless flower stems. It grows in only very wet places such as streambanks. It grows in alpine or upper montane zones.
  • Tufted Alpine Saxifrage grows in dense clumps. Its leaves are deeply 3 lobed at the end. It is found in high alpine areas.
  • Snowball Saxifrage has a leafless stalk. At first, the flower is a compact ball, but later it becomes more open. It is found in alpine and subalpine zones.

Spotted or Dotted Saxifrage

Ciliaria austromontana or Saxifraga bronchialis


Brook Saxifrage

Micranthes odontoloma or Saxifraga odontoloma



Tufted Alpine Saxifrage

Muscaria delicatula or Saxifraga caespitosa


Snowball Saxifrage

Micranthes rhomboidea or Saxifraga rhomboidea



Wintergreen Family

  • Wintergreen is a family of forest herbs. They are found in mesic montane and subapine forests, mainly in deep shade.
  • Wood Nymph has a single flower with its head nodding.
  • Sidebells has flowers on one side of the stalk which is often curved.

Wood Nymph

Moneses uniflora


One-Sided Wintergreen or Sidebells

Orthilia secunda


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