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Saxifraga

Saxifrage
Saxifragaceae
Evergreen, Ground covers, Perennials

These creeping groundcovers from North America and Europe need good drainage and light soil; they rot easily in soggy soil. Although exacting in their requirements, forms offered by specialists are among the choicest of rock garden plants.

Saxifraga stolonifera
Saxifraga stolonifera

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Saxifraga stolonifera

Native to China and Japan. Creeping plant forms a rosette to 6–8 in. high and 1 ft. wide, but expands fairly rapidly, sending out runners like strawberry. Nearly round green leaves to 4 in. across have white veins, pink undersides. Blooms from late summer to fall, bearing inch-wide white flowers in loose clusters on stems to 2 ft. high. ‘Maroon Beauty’ leaves have maroon markings. Good groundcover where hard freezes are infrequent. Partial or full shade.

Saxifraga umbrosa

Native to the Pyrenees. Tongue-shaped, shiny green leaves to 1 1/2 in. long form a foot-wide rosette only a few inches high. Blooms in spring, bearing open clusters of tiny pink flowers on wine red, 1-ft.-high stalks. S. u. primuloides is a dwarf form. Good groundcover for small shady areas; effective near rocks and stream beds. This species is sometimes wrongly called London pride.

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