/sak"seuh frij/, n.any plant of the genus Saxifraga, certain species of which grow wild in the clefts of rocks, other species of which are cultivated for their flowers. Cf. saxifrage family.[1400-50; late ME < L saxifraga (herba) stone-breaking (herb), equiv. to saxi-, comb. form of saxum stone + -fraga, fem. of -fragus breaking; see FRAGILE]
* * *Any of about 300 species of the genus Saxifraga, of the family Saxifragaceae, which is composed of 36 genera of mostly perennial herbaceous plants.Members of the saxifrage family are known for their ability to grow and thrive on exposed rocky crags and in fissures of rocks. They are adapted to the full range of moisture conditions, but most grow in moist, shaded woodlands in northern cold and temperate regions. Leaves characteristically alternate along the stem and sometimes are deeply lobed or form rosettes. Flowers generally are borne in branched clusters and range in colour from greenish to white or yellow and from pink or red to purple. The fruit is a capsule. Saxifraga species are planted in rock gardens or as border ornamentals, prized for their small, bright flowers, fine-textured foliage, and early spring flowering. Other well-known genera in the saxifrage family are Astilbe, Heuchera, and Mitella.
* * *▪ plantalso called rockfoil (genus Saxifraga)any of a genus of flowering plants, of the family Saxifragaceae, native in temperate, subarctic, and alpine areas. About 300 species have been identified. Many of them are valued as rock-garden subjects, and some are grown in garden borders. As a group they are notable for their small bright flowers and fine-textured foliage. Alpine species are the earliest to flower in gardens.Saxifraga virginiensis, S. pennsylvanica, and S. oregana constitute a few of the species that can be found growing wild in North America. Saxifraga callosa, S. cotyledon, and S. granulata, from Europe, have several varieties that are prized for their white to rose-pink, much-branched flower clusters. S. paniculata, which comes from the north temperate zone, has yielded a number of fine garden varieties, differing in size, leaf shape, and flower colour. Only one species is widely grown as a window and basket plant, S. stolonifera, a trailing plant with cascading runners. Its common names are strawberry begonia, strawberry geranium, and mother-of-thousands.
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