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Sibbaldia procumbens
Sibbaldia procumbens (Sibbaldia)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Madden Peak Trail, June 22, 2004.

This is a common mat-forming, ground-hugging plant of tundra and open sub-alpine areas.  Its compound, three parted leaf causes it to be taken for a member of the Pea Family (Fabaceae), but a closer look shows the leaves to be very much like the leaves of other Rosaceae, especially Fragaria (Wild Strawberry).  A close inspection of the tiny flowers of Sibbaldia procumbens also shows them to to be distinctly Rosaceae with similarities to Fragaria, Geum, and Potentilla: sepals and petals usually 5, braclets present and alternating with the sepals, and flowers with sessile receptacles.

Linnaeus named both the genus and species in 1753.  The genus name honors the Scottish botanist, Robert Sibbald.  "Procumbens" refers to its prostrate growth form. (More biographical information about Sibbald.)

Sibbaldia procumbens (Sibbaldia)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Madden Peak Trail, June 22, 2004.

Sibbaldia procumbens (Sibbaldia)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Sharkstooth Trail, June 28, 2007.

Sibbaldia procumbens (Sibbaldia)
Rosaceae (Rose Family)

Alpine. Tundra. Summer.
Near Snowden Peak, August 1, 2005.

Two inch tall, very attractive red stalks with lovely seed heads finish the season for tiny Sibbaldia procumbens.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

 

Range map for Sibbaldia procumbens