Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Foliage Follow-up (and my favorite plant in the garden this week)…

Since my favorite plant feature this week is a favorite because of its foliage it seemed a natural to combine these two topics into a single post. May I present the Saxifraga…

Yes they’re there….I’m referring to the small white edged rosettes, this one…

And this one.

I mistakenly thought I was getting Saxifraga longifolia when I purchased these, but actually I now realize they probably aren’t because they haven’t gotten nearly as large as S. longifolia promises to be (almost 8” across). One label I have actually says Saxifraga x longifolia so perhaps that’s what they both are (a third flowered and died last summer). Whatever they are I love them, after all I’m a sucker for a tidy rosette.

Here’s an interesting little tidbit I picked up from the Wikipedia: “the Latin word saxifraga means literally "stone-breaker", from Latin saxum ("rock" or "stone") + frangere ("to break"). It is usually thought to indicate a medicinal use for treatment of urinary calculi (known as kidney stones), rather than breaking rocks apart.” There's some useful cocktail party chatter for you!

Another favorite Saxifraga is S. macnabiana, its leaves look outlined by frost even on a warm summer day.

Just don’t let them get shaded out by neighboring plants, they’ll quickly melt away and disappear (I speak from experience...).

I picked up this Saxifraga x urbium 'Primuloides' last fall at a nursery sale, well actually I picked up two but later discovered one of them had virtually no roots due to rot. I hope this one spreads fast as I love its varied shades of green.

One of my original Saxifraga loves is S. urbium ‘Aureopunctata'…

This time of the year it’s almost buried under leaf litter from the huge Privet above, but once I get around to cleaning it off the splashes of yellow on the leaves just shine.

And I realized I do have another Saxifraga that I completely forgot to take pictures of! Saxifraga x geum 'Dentata' if you’re curious there are couple of my photos of it here (as well as 27 more varieties!). For more Foliage excitement visit Pam at Digging, our hostess for this monthly adventure.

25 comments:

  1. Love the frosty bead detail on S. macnabiana. Pretty selections for foliage day. They all look great with your succulent collection.





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    1. That frosty detail is what attracted me initially too. It's nice to have something hardy that compliments the more "challenging" plants!

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  2. This is a great family of plants and I love them too! They are tough as nails and will grow in just about any conditions. I've not killed any yet.

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    1. "tough as nails and will grow in just about any conditions"...that pretty much sums it up doesn't it?

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  3. Very nice! I don't suppose any of them will take hot and humid summers, will they?

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    1. Well...I could yammer on here like I actually know, or just admit that I haven't a clue. Perhaps I should divide a couple of the ones I've got plenty of (Saxifraga x geum 'Dentata' and S. urbium ‘Aureopunctata') and send you a couple to test this spring?

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  4. Oh good one! Love those rosettes too!

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    1. None, but I'm quite fond of them!! I'll have to change that this year.

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  5. Cool plants!! I don't think I could grow them in our hot climate, though. That Saxifraga x urbium 'Primuloides' looks like an aeonium!

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    1. Yes! I thought the same thing, a tiny (hardy!) aeonium.

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  6. I had never grown Saxifraga before this past spring, when I bought three different kinds. Now I love them! I have come to love rosettes too. In the past the only rosette-type plants I had were Semps, but now I have loads of others.

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    1. Wow from zero to three...nice job! Which ones?

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  7. Beautiful! I love Saxifraga...have you been to Wild Ginger Farm in Beavercreek? They specialize in them...what a variety!

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    1. Hi Tamara! (I'm guessing your the gallery Tamara?) I haven't been to Wild Ginger Farm, just shopped their tables at the plant sales. I guess I need to make it a priority to visit this spring, thank you for the kick in the pants!

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    2. yes, it's me :)
      Do go, make a day of it, it's a fantastic place in the middle of a dream setting. Their resident dogs will help you with plant selection! Dogs + garden + nurseries = xoxoxo

      p.s. I have a selection of photos of my trip to Australia a couple of weeks ago - specifically of the Royal Botanic Gardens that you might enjoy if you are interested. Cheers!

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    3. I would LOVE to see Australia pics, especially the RBG...how wonderful! (I am only slightly jealous)

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  8. Saxifraga is a fantastic group of plants, rather underrated by they do associate so well with succulent planting, and gravel gardens. I've added Saxifraga x urbium 'Primuloides' to our wish list this year :)

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    1. Yay, I hope you can easily find a few and I hope to add a few more. You know I just realized I didn't say a thing about the flowers...hahaha. I guess that shows where my mind is.

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  9. Wild Ginger has them; if Mount Tahoma is still in business (when they stopped doing mail order I sulked for a whole year)they offered a large selection of silver saxifrages. Laporte Avenue Nursery here in Colorado sells quite a few, too.
    With the ones that don't form a single rosette, you can take rooted cuttings of the offsets.
    Beryl Bland's book Silver Saxifrages, published by the Alpine Garden Society, is excellent.

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    1. Thanks for the heads up on Mount Tahoma, looks like they are still in business. I'll have to put them on my list along with Wild Ginger. Silver Saxifrages looks like a good one, but I can only find it available through Amazon UK...maybe I'll check the (amazing) library of Sean Hogan, or see if I can get it on an interlibrary loan.

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  10. It's a whole other world of Saxifrages! I haven't ever seen any of those in gardens or nurseries around here. The ones I have grown before are the more tender herbaceous S. stolonifera, which thrives in well drained shade, and can take over. Those frosted edged ones look fantastic, but probably not as easy here without some winter chill. So they look perfect for that hardy succulent look. I imagine they'd look fantastic with Agave bracteosa. Can you grow Echeveria agavoides and E. elegans or imbricata up there outside in winter with some shelter from heavy rain? We just had a week of freezing weather here in the Bay Area, and first casualties were all my Agave attenuata Ray of Light and various Aeoniums. Just cosmetic, but needlessly left uncovered the first night. You'd all laugh at worrying about lows of 28/29F, but I breathed a sigh of relief. Here's hoping our winters have enough rain and not too cold :)
    David

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    1. I believe Sean grows E. agavoides, I should give it a try. I am finally starting to feel brave again after our super bad winters of 08/09 and 09/10. My brother in Phoenix has lost a few things to the cols as well, so sad! Odd that our weather isn't as bad.

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  11. My success rate has been spotty at best, but the dentata I got from you seems to be happy here.

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  12. Adorable - I love the white edging. So dainty but so tough. BTW, I love your new blog design. The sidebar buttons are very cool!

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