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Video: Saxifrage - Species, Reproduction And Cultivation
What is saxifrage
Saxifrage is a plant consisting of neat rosettes of silvery leaves and surprisingly bright and such pleasant flowers, from which you simply cannot take your eyes off without thinking - how beautiful it is! Saxifrage is a combination of sturdiness, durability and compactness, among them the most valuable are cushion-shaped ones, which are very different from traditional Alpine beauties.
Saxifrage is widespread in western North America, and about two dozen species are native to the Rocky Mountains. More than half of them are found on alpine heights and in the polar regions. Unlike European saxifrage, North American species form groups of basal leaves, rather tall stems, and small white flowers. They grow in a humid habitat, and therefore only a few of them are suitable for planting in the garden.
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Here is a summary of the most common types of saxifrage:
Rising saxifrage. This species is native to the northern Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Utah. The species reaches a height of ten centimeters and grows on rocky slopes in crevices, moraines, as well as in the alpine tundra.
The appearance of the plants is very decorative - tall stems grow from a dense group of short leaves, and form small, milky flowers that bloom in the midst of summer.
Saxifrage sunflower. Often found in damp alpine grasslands in the Sierra Nevada and southwestern Oregon. An ornamental plant with a basal tuft of purple-green oval leaves and greenish-white small rounded flowers that appear at the tips of the stems and bloom from May to August.
The saxifrage is comb-ciliate. It is widespread from Alaska to New Mexico, where it inhabits open slopes or rocky crevices, often high in the mountains. The plant forms basal rosettes, often with a reddish tint, and tiny lanceolate leaves with short bristles at the edges. In June, small white flowers with numerous yellow and orange spots form. They are pleasing to the eye until August.
Bryophore saxifrage. It grows in the damp subalpine and alpine meadows of the Sierra Nevada and is distinguished by beautiful leaves and slender peduncles with snow-white flowers. Flowering lasts from July to August.
Soddy saxifrage. It grows in British Columbia, where it inhabits rocky crevices and open cliffs, its tiny three-lobed leaves form a basal tuft, from which flower stalks grow, bearing five snow-white flowers blooming in June-July.
Californian saxifrage. Often found on shady mounds, undergrowth and pine forests in California. It has a root rosette of rectangular leaves, as well as leafless peduncles, at the ends of which white flowers bloom.
Saxifrage drooping. In natural conditions, it is found from Alaska to New Mexico. Differs in rusty clawed leaves, pubescent on the underside. Stems with single drooping white flowers that bloom in the middle of summer, but this plant, alas, is not particularly attractive.
Saxifrage is golden-flowered. It grows in the Rocky Mountains of northwestern Wyoming, Utah, Colorado and northern New Mexico, inhabiting open rocky slopes where it forms mats of apple-green fleshy leaves and a golden-yellow bark that blooms in the middle of summer. It is considered one of the most decorative species in the genus.
Daurian saxifrage grows in damp places and alpine regions of Alaska. Smooth wedge-shaped leaves and tall stems give the plant a decorative look, at the ends of which are purple or white flowers that bloom in July.
The saxifrage is weak. It grows from Canada to California, where it is located on wet cliffs and in rock crevices. The decorative effect is given by basal spherical leaves and stems with white flowers that have pink veins.
Eshsholtsevaya saxifrage. It grows everywhere in Alaska, where it inhabits rocky outcrops and tundra among lichens. This is a rather beautiful alpine alpine species, forming a small rounded cushion of very small rosettes and shiny grayish leaves with hairs located along the edge. From late May to July, tiny yellow flowers appear on short stems, very decorative and pleasant.
Rusty saxifrage. Native to the southern coast of Alaska, where it grows on open cliffs, wet coasts, and along roadsides. Forms ramnevate basal leaves with denticles along the edges and stems up to 60 centimeters tall, bearing unusual flowers with two types of petals: three wide petals, each with two yellow-orange spots and two narrow petals. The flowers form small, pleasing to the eye from June to July.
The saxifrage is whip-like. A circumpolar species native to the Rocky Mountains, on alpine scree and damp rocks in southern Montana. Forms loose rosette rugs with red stolons at the end of which are small rosettes. The leafy stems bear loose umbrellas of 1-4 yellow flowers that bloom in the middle of summer.
Strawberry saxifrage. It grows on dry cliffs of Oregon and northern California. Has a basal rosette, which consists of smooth wedge-shaped leaves with denticles along the edge. The stems are up to 30 centimeters in height, but the ends, which are placed flowers, collected in a loose panicle and appear in June-July.
Marsh saxifrage. It grows in wet grasslands of Utah and Colorado. It blooms with yellow flowers and differs in that it does not have any basal rosette and stems reaching a height of twenty centimeters.
Hitchcock's saxifrage. Endemic to the highlands of Oregon, forms basal rosettes of rounded leaves covered with glandular yellow hairs. The stems reach a height of 30 centimeters and are literally covered with a "hat" of small white flowers that appear in June-July.
Solid-leaved saxifrage. Grows on wet, grassy coastal slopes of Oregon and Washington. It has a root rosette of leaves with solid edges and long stems reaching a height of half a meter with a cap of white, greenish, and sometimes pink flowers.
Lyell's saxifrage. It is often found in partial shade, in wet meadows and close to water bodies in Alaska, where it forms basal rosettes of numerous fan-shaped and serrated leaves and red stems, on top of which are several small white flowers that appear in July and are pleasing to the eye, gradually turning pink until August.
Mortens' saxifrage. It comes from Alaska, the mountains of central California, where it grows on damp rocky coasts, going into the forest itself. Juicy, rounded leaves, reaching 10 centimeters in diameter and framed by petals with teeth, look decorative. The stems reach a height of 40 centimeters and bear tiny, white flowers with narrow petals.
Western saxifrage. It is widely distributed in the western mountains from Canada to Washington and grows on open cliffs and damp slopes. Basal leaves are oval and serrated and form dense rosettes around the stems. It blooms with numerous white flowers from April to August.
Odontolom saxifrage. The species is very widespread in the West of North America, where it grows on the coasts, around water bodies and lakes, as well as in the wet meadows of the alpine regions. The plant forms basal leaves and a leafless peduncle, sometimes reaching a height of 78-80 centimeters with white flowers formed at the top.
The saxifrage is opposite-leaved. It grows in Alaska and British Columbia, where it occupies rocky talus at heights of up to 3.5 thousand meters. Plants usually form very dense tussocks, reaching a height of five centimeters, bear oval leaves with a reddish brown tint and purple flowers that appear from June to August.
Oregano saxifrage. It grows in the wet meadows of Washington and in the rocky mountains of Colorado. The plant is small and has a rosette of spatulate leaves up to 15 centimeters long. Flowering lasts from May to August, and during this period you can see small, thin, greenish-white flowers with oval petals, collected in inflorescences.
Rhombic saxifrage. It is a habitual inhabitant of the Rocky Mountains, Utah and Colorado, where it grows in a wide range of habitats - from dry to damp areas in the hills overgrown with wormwood to alpine tundra. Forms serrated basal leaves and dense globular heads of numerous white or creamy flowers that appear from late spring to mid-summer.
Brook saxifrage. A species native to Alaska and Colorado, where it can be found on alpine streams and wet cliffs. It has open flowering shoots and very small, jagged, kidney-shaped leaves and tall stems with small, loosely grouped white flowers, pleasing to the eye in June-July.
Thyme-leaved saxifrage. It grows in dry rocky areas and at high alpine levels in Alaska, forms tiny rosettes of small, shiny oval leaves placed on stems up to 7.5 centimeters high, and bright yellow flowers up to 1.2 centimeters in diameter with orange spots on the petals.
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Conditions for growing saxifrage
Having listed the main types of saxifrage that are used in decoration, let us dwell on the features of their cultivation and reproduction, and also study some of the secrets of the masters of garden design.
The site for the saxifrage should be chosen with great care. Since they are very fond of limestone, the rock garden should be folded with this stone, or limestone rubble should be added to the soil mixture in which the saxifrage will grow. Among other things, such necessary properties as light color and hygroscopicity, which allow plants not to overheat in the summer sun and accumulate moisture, are also characteristic of limestone.
The next prerequisite for planting is that the plants should not be planted in the sun, but so that they get a lot of light. This is a rather difficult task, but it is quite simple to solve it: firstly, plants can be planted on one side of the rock garden, and not on its top, and secondly, direct light can be blocked by any, but not a taller plant, which is better placed with south of the saxifrage side.
It is very important to avoid stagnant water. For this, it is better to plant plants obliquely or in crevices between stones. But the plant also needs moisture, with prolonged natural drought, watering is necessary, but without stagnant water. Therefore, a natural trickle should be made, and ordinary gravel or coarse sand will help to hold back running water.
Speaking of gravel, in addition to the "moisture retainer", it is also applicable as an element of the soil mixture, which must be granular, moisture-absorbing and permeable. It should consist of granular components, for example, limestone gravel, coarse sand, vermiculite and, of course, slightly nutritious - clay, black peat and humus. As a fertilizer, you can use superphosphate with the addition of organic substances, for example, bone meal.
Having prepared the soil for planting, we proceed directly to it. Having planted the saxifrage in a permanent place, it is necessary to water and shade it well - this procedure stimulates root formation.
Reproduction of saxifrage
As for reproduction, the most optimal and reliable way is by cuttings. The technique is quite simple and consists in separating a part of the pillow and dividing it into separate sockets - shoots 1-2 centimeters long. At the outlets, all the lower leaves are cut off, and the cuttings are placed in a shady place under glass or film and maintain constant humidity in the air and soil to avoid drying out. It should be borne in mind that different types of saxifrage take root at different speeds, and there is no need to rush to transplant. The most typical sign that roots have formed is the appearance of new lateral rosettes. An important condition should be noted - it is better to cut the cuttings after the end of flowering, starting at the end of May.
We received the seedlings, planted the plants and, it would seem, everything is fine, but not everything is so simple. Like all plants, saxifrages get sick and are affected by pests.
The most dangerous disease is rot, it is difficult to fight it. However, you can save the shape itself by cutting and planting healthy midpoints of the outlets. In addition to diseases, there are pests - mice and birds, they often damage or even pull plants out of the soil. However, mechanical damage is soon eliminated by the growth of new outlets.
That's all there is to say about the saxifrage remains - placement - the designer's thought, brought to life. There are a couple of tips that you can safely use - the best partners for saxifrage are dwarf conifers. The garden with such a neighborhood is very nice at any time of the year. Also good "friends" of saxifrage are gentian, carnation, grains, breaks. In short, experiment and have fun with what you do.
Also Read: Saxifrage - Ideal Plants for Rock Gardens