This month I’m conducting surveys for four-toed salamanders throughout northwestern Massachusetts, and after spending some time crawling through swamps I feel inspired to showcase one of my favorite early spring wildflowers. Golden saxifrage (Saxifragaceae: Chrysosplenium americanum), also known as water carpet, is common in seepy areas throughout New England. I don’t know much about it beyond that, but I suspect its tiny flowers are overlooked by most people, and I like the way the bright orange anthers are arranged in little squares.
The flowerbuds, too, are in the form of neat little square packets.
Here’s a more zoomed-out view of the plant:
The flowers are only out in the spring, and the rest of the year the plant just looks like this: