Western boykinia (Boykinia occidentalis) grows in moist shady woods and along the banks of streams from sea level to mid-elevations. This native perennial is found in British Columbia, Washington, Oregon and California. These specimens were photographed in May along the Hiouchi Trail in Redwoods State and National Parks (Del Norte County CA).
Arising from a scaly rhizome, western boykinia leaves are mostly basal. The leaves are maple-like with 5 to 7 lobes. The lower leaves have long petioles (stalks) with long stipules at the base of the petiole with the leaves becoming stalkless further up the stem. Leaf edges have sharp, irregular teeth tipped with bristles. Western boykina stems are covered with minute glandular hairs.
The inflorescence is a open panicle (branched with flowers maturing from the bottom up) originating from leaf axils. The flowers have 5 pointed sepals, 5 white petals and 5 stamens. Western boykinia fruits are beaked capsules containing numerous, minutely spiny black seeds.
A synonym for this member of the Saxifrage Family (Saxifragaceae) is Boykinia elata. The genus name honors a Georgia naturalist, Dr. Samuel Boykin (1786 – 1848). Other common names for B occidentalis are coast boykinia, coastal boykinia and brook foam.