Saxifraga tridactylites (Saxifragaceae) Naturalized in the Southeastern and Northwestern United States


Courtney Alley

Additional Authors:

Erica Rylander, Jacob Dawson, Mary Feely, Dakila Ledesma, Nate Parrish, Caleb Powell, John Shelton, Wayne Barger, Paul Davison, Joey Shaw,


January – 2020


exotic plant, invasive species, Saxifraga tridactylites, saxifrage, Saxifragaceae

Saxifraga tridactylites (Saxifragaceae), an annual herb native to northwest Africa, southwestern Asia, Europe, northeastern Iran, and western Russia, has rapidly naturalized in two geographically distinct areas of the United States: the Southeast and the Northwest. In the Southeast, the spread has been exceedingly fast and poses a potential threat to xeric limestone habitats of the Interior Low Plateau and Ridge and Valley physiographic provinces. Prior to our work, S. tridactylites appeared to be an insignificant introduction, only documented in a few North American locations in British Columbia and Oregon. Here, we show that the North American distribution is much greater than previously reported, with records from four counties in the Northwest and 53 counties in the Southeast: northern Alabama (14 counties), northwest Georgia (two counties) northern Mississippi (five counties), and southern Tennessee (32 counties). To our knowledge, it has not yet dispersed into Arkansas, Kentucky, or North Carolina.