Saxifraga Paradoxa - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Saxifraga Paradoxa Described.
Saxifraga Paradoxa -
Paradoxical Saxifrage; Nat. Ord. Saxifragaceæ.
One of the less known and, perhaps, somewhat rare saxifrages; it is a curious,
distinct, and beautiful form, being of that class which the lover of the ornamental
kinds most admires, for not only is it attractive all the year round, but additionally
so when there cannot be seen any part of a growing or decaying flower stem upon
it, and when its silvery, but lax rosettes, with their encrustments and glistening
leaf dots, are perfectly matured, which is the case during mid-winter. I fear
the illustration (Fig. 89), can give but a poor idea of the pleasing silvery-grey
colour, which, when the specimen is dry, overlays foliage of a dark and glossy
green, to say nothing of the numerous and regular spots which so charmingly enliven
the specimens. I am unable to learn to what species it is most nearly related;
its name, which doubtless has reference to its peculiar form and habit, would
seem to isolate it even from its parents, if such are known; it, however, belongs
to that section having thick leathery leaves, ligulate, encrusted, arranged in
rosette form, and having excavated dots. Saxifraga lingulata, S. crustata, S.
Australis, S. longifolia, and S. carinthiaca belong to the same section; but
S. paradoxa differs much in general appearance from them all, and remarkably
so in one or two respects, as, indeed, it does from the whole genus, thus justifying
its name. The uneven length and arrangement of leaves, the casting off of
the encrustments as a skin or in flakes, exposing to view a finely-polished surface,
and the general web-like appearance of the tufts, are all peculiar to it. Of
all the varieties of its section it most resembles S. carinthiaca and S. Australis;
these forms, however, grow in compact rosette form, having leaves of more even
size and shape. Our subject is irregular in every way, many of the leaves pushing
out to double the length of others, and becoming attenuated at their junction,
Its flowers are insignificant and similar to those of S. Aizoon, but more
dwarf in the stem. The leaves are ½in. to 3in. long, very narrow and tongue-shaped,
sometimes obtuse and club-shaped; stout, dark green, with a greyish crust-like
covering, and deeply dotted with bright spots. The leaves are arranged in lax
rosettes and are reflexed or pressed flat to the earth nearly all their length.
The habit is very pretty in established and fair-sized specimens, which accommodate
themselves to the form of surface, and the longer or erratic leaves become so
interlaced with the other parts as to appear woven; this habit and the bright
bead-like dots go to make the plant more than ordinarily attractive. It should
be in every collection of choice Saxifrages; it is charming as a pot specimen,
plunged and grown out of doors the year round.
On rockwork it should have a place, too, among the gems, being a neat and
slow grower; its position should be near dark-coloured stones, where it will
prove most telling. In damp weather its silvery parts are obliterated, but a
breeze of half-an-hour or a beam of sunshine soon brings it into full beauty
again. Gritty peat and a little loam suits it well; I have it doing nicely in
ordinary garden soil; but if the more carefully prepared composts are employed,
the results well repay the pains so taken. Its propagation is easily carried
out by root divisions; early spring is a good time for the operation.
Flowering period, May and June.
Hardy Perennials and Old Fashioned Flowers, Landscaping Software, Landscaping Design, Landscaping Jobs, Landscaping
Plants, Landscaping Supplies, Landscape Design Software, Garden Design,
About Our Sponsored Links