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SAXIFRAGA

Saxifrage
Saxifragaceae
Evergreen, Ground covers, Perennials

Some saxifrages are native to mountainous areas of North America; most are from Europe. These plants do best in rock gardens of the Pacific Northwest, where specialists grow dozens of kinds. Require good drainage and light soil; rot easily in soggy soil. Most grow in full sun or light shade. 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, Japan. Creeping plant forms a rosette to 6–8 in. high, 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. tall. Good ground cover where hard freezes are infrequent. To use as houseplant, grow in hanging basket; give bright indirect light.

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. Good ground cover for small areas; effective near rocks, stream beds.

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