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H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Saxifraga Coriophylla - Hardy Perennial

Author: John Wood

Saxifraga Coriophylla - Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers

Saxifraga Coriophylla Described.

Saxifraga Coriophylla - Nat. Ord. Saxifragaceæ.

This is a rather recently discovered alpine species, very dwarf, but beautiful. The specific name would appear to be in allusion to its flowers as pink-shaped; they are very small, but the reader, by referring to the cut, may form his own opinion of such likeness; however well founded or otherwise the name may be, we have in this subject a gem for the rock garden. It is a native of Albania, and belongs to that section of its extensive genus having triquetrous and obtuse leaves, or blunt three-sided foliage, as formed by a well developed keel. It is in flower in the middle of March, at the height of 2in. All its parts are of miniature dimensions, and yet when grown in a suitable position it is effective.

The flowers are pure white, produced on leafy stems an inch or more high; they are few, and open in succession; petals round and overlapping; calyx large for the size of flower, and covered with down; sepals obtuse and tipped with a brown, almost red-tint; stamens short, having rather large yellow anthers, which fill the throat of the corolla. The leaves are evergreen or silvery grey, arranged in small rosettes, and ¼in. long, of good substance, rigid and smooth; their shape is obtuse, concave, and keeled; they are furnished with marginal excavations, which present themselves as dots; the habit is compact, the rosettes being crowded and forming cushioned-shaped specimens; the flowers last for a fortnight in average weather.

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Saxifraga Coriophylla

Between large stones in vegetable mould and grit, it both thrives and shows to advantage; it is also a charming subject for the pot culture of alpines. In company with the red-stalked and white-flowered S. Burseriana, the purple S. oppositifolia, and the many other forms of the mossy section, all, or nearly all in bloom about the same time, it offers a pleasing variety, as being distinct in every way from its contemporaries, more especially in the foliage. It is rather a slow grower, and not so readily increased as most Saxifrages; it is greatly benefited by having pebbles or small stones about the collar. These keep it moist at the roots during the growing season. If a little dry cow manure or guano is dusted amongst the stones during early summer, the results will soon be seen; such growth, however, should not be stimulated during the latter half of the year, or from its want of ripeness it will be liable to damage during winter. This practice of top dressing greatly assists the parts touching the earth to root, and so either an increased stock or larger specimens may sooner be obtained.

Flowering period, March.


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