Saxifraga (Saxifrage; Rockfoil)
Saxifraga, commonly called Saxifrage or Rockfoil, is a large genus of about 400 species of perennials in the family Saxifragaceae, native to temperate, subarctic and alpine areas of Europe, Asia and North America. The plant produces fine-textured foliage and small bright flowers, usually with five petals, five sepals and ten stamens. Saxifrages are great for rock gardens, containers or along retaining walls.
The genus name is derived from the Latin words "saxum", which means "rock" or "stone" and "frangere", meaning "to break". It literally means "stone-breaker".
Some believe the name refers to its ancient medicinal use for treating urinary stones.
The common name "Rockfoil" comes from its preference for a rocky environment.
Saxifrage symbolizes devotion, affection and passion.
Interesting facts about Saxifraga:
Saxifraga oppositifolia is the official territorial flower of Nunavut. The remote area is located in the northernmost territory of Canada, where more than 80 per cent of the population is Inuit.
Saxifraga oppositifolia, commonly known as Purple saxifrage, is one of the most northerly flowering plants in the world. The plant is considered a necessary part of the Inuit diet as it is rich in vitamin C. It provides not only food, but also contributes as an important time-keeping function. Inuit use blooming period of Saxifraga oppositifolia as a reminder of calving in caribou herds.
Although they are not succulents, Saxifrages are used as companion plants to many hardy succulents.