Plant of the Month for April, 2015

 (saks-if-FRAG-uh sto-lo-NIF-er-uh)

General Information:

A great little plant for the shady rock garden or as an under planting for shade gardens. Saxifraga stolonifera creeps along the ground slowly, covering the ground to a height of a couple of cm. It flowers on fairly long stems that reach 30 cm into the air.

Saxifraga stolonifera‘Maroon Beauty’; photo by Robert Pavlis

Saxifraga stolonifera‘Maroon Beauty’; photo by Robert Pavlis

Marron Beauty is much like the species except that the leaves are a darker red colour, versus the green in the species. Either plant makes a nice addition to the garden.

It’s common names include; creeping saxifrage, strawberry saxifrage, creeping foil, strawberry begonia, and strawberry geranium. The reference to strawberry refers to the reddish stems and the way in which it spreads using creeping stolons. It is neither a bergonia nor is it a geranium. A lot of web sites rate it as a zone 7 plant, but many people grow it in zone 5 and it should be hardy in zone 4.

I have found that it grows and flowers best with a lot of moisture. It will survive in dryer conditions, but it is never happy.

This saxifrage is also grown as a house plant.

Saxifraga stolonifera‘Maroon Beauty’; photo by Robert Pavlis

Saxifraga stolonifera‘Maroon Beauty’; photo by Robert Pavlis

 

Life Cycle: perennial

Height:7 cm (3 in)

Bloom Time: mid to late summer

Natural Range: China and Japan

Habitat:forests, meadows, shaded rock crevices

Synonyms: Saxifraga sarmentosa, Saxifraga veitchiana,

 

Cultivation:

Light: part shade to full shade

Soil: well drained, but moist

Water: moist to wet – does not like to dry out

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4 – 10

Propagation: seed, division

Seedex availability (ORG&HPS annual Seed Exchange): rarely

Robert Pavlis