PURPLE SAXIFRAGE

Saxifraga oppositifolia

Saxifrage Family [Saxifragaceae]  

month8mar month8march month8apr month8april month8May

status
statusZnative
flower
flower8purple
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
stem
stem8round

Iceland Photo: © Philip Draper


Iceland Photo: © Philip Draper


Purple Saxifrage, latin name Chrysosplenium Oppositifolia should not to be confused with Golden Saxifrage whose latin name is Saxifraga Oppositifolium even although both are members of the Saxifrage Family.

Easily mistaken for : Trailing Azalea (Kalmia procumbens) which has almost identical purple coloured flowers, is also prostrate, also grows on mountains in Scotland (and elsewhere) but the leaves are totally different.

Some similarities to : Moss Campion which also prefers to grow on mountains.

Unique fact : Purple Saxifrage is the only saxifrage which has purple flowers.

Distinguishing Feature : A tiny rosette of leaves rather like a house leek plant. The flowers are much larger than the rosette of leaves. The penny-sized purple flowers with five splayed-out petals and a rather large hole in the middle from where purple stamens protrude slightly.

Purple Saxifrage is a very rare plant that prefers to grow on Limestone Uplands, particularly two mountains in the Yorkshire Dales: Penygent and Ingleborough, but only at one specific height. That height has a lot to do with the varying strata on those two hills, alternating between mudstones and limestone at various heights. It is much more prolific on the north western mountains of Scotland. It is also to be found on some mountains of Snowdonia south of Anglesea. It prefers rocks, screes and ledges away from trampling feet and hungry sheep.

Like Moss Campion, Purple Saxifrage also likes to form low prostrate matts. It has similar coloured flowers, and an identical number of petals, five.


  Saxifraga oppositifolia  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Saxifragaceae  

Distribution
family8Saxifrage family8Saxifracaea

 BSBI maps
genus8saxifraga
Saxifraga
(Saxifrages)

PURPLE SAXIFRAGE

Saxifraga oppositifolia

Saxifrage Family [Saxifragaceae]  

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