H. Perennial & Old Fashioned Garden Plants & Flowers by John Wood
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Saxifraga Wallacei - Hardy Perennial
Author: John Wood
Saxifraga Wallacei Described.
Saxifraga Wallacei - Nat. Ord. Saxifragaceæ.
A hardy perennial hybrid variety, of first-class merit. Its loose and spreading panicles of large pure white flowers are something better than the ordinary run of bloom belonging to this extensive genus; it is said to be the offspring of species of the mossy section; but there is certainly a great likeness about its foliage to some of the horny section, such as S. cornutum or S. pentadactylis, or even the handsome S. geranioides. It would, however, be hard to say what it is from; but in it we have not only a showy but most useful variety. It has deservedly grown into great favour, though known to amateurs but for three years. It begins to flower in April, but in May it is in its best form, being covered with a rich mass of bloom from the foliage to the height of a foot.
The flowers, as before stated, are of a pure white—an unusual colour amongst the genus; they are bell-shaped but erect, the ovate petals reverse. Well-grown specimens with me have flowers quite an inch across. The individual blooms last more than a week, and the succession is well maintained during summer. The panicles are leafy, having small entire leaves, and others once and twice-cut. The stems of the present season's growth are stout, semi-transparent, and ruddy; the leaves are palmate, slender at the bottom, mostly five-fingered, fleshy, and covered with long silky hairs which stand well off; the fine apple-green foliage is shown to great advantage by the ruddy stems.
This plant may be grown in pots or borders, as edging, or on rockwork, and in any kind of soil; but to have fine specimens and large flowers it should be planted in calcareous loam, and be top dressed in early spring with well rotted manure. I have it as an edging to a small bed of roses; the position is bleak, but the soil is good; it furnishes large quantities of cut bloom, and otherwise, from its rich hawthorn-like scent, it proves a great treat. So freely is its handsome foliage produced that it, too, may be cut in quantities for table decoration. If the flowers, or some of them, be left on, the tufts will form a pretty setting for a few other small flowers of decided colours.
To increase this Saxifrage is a simple matter during the warm season: The twiggy tufts should be pulled asunder, no matter whether they have roots or no roots; if dibbled into fine soil, deeply dug, and shaded for a week or two, they will form strong plants before the winter sets in.
Flowering period, April to August.
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