Saxifraga - Growing Guide

Growing Saxifraga fortunei

There are literally hundreds of species and varieties of Saxifraga but Burncoose offers just two different forms of one species – S. fortunei.

These plants need moist but well drained humus rich (ie peat or compost to be added) soil in shade. They grow well in rockeries or, perhaps, on the edge of a border if shade is available. Forms of S. fortunei are usually deciduous but, under polythene in the nursery, they remain semi evergreen clump forming plants with kidney-shaped leaves.

The flowers appear in leafless stems in late summer and on into the autumn giving the plant an overall height of about 12in with a similar spread. The white flowers are in ‘fluffy’ panicles. The species originates in Japan and is perfectly hardy.

The two varieties we offer are:

S. fortunei ‘Black Beauty’ actually has deep ruby red panicles of ‘fluffy’ flowers which come out with us in September and remain until December. The leaves are black in strong light conditions but greenish-black in shade. They fade off to a very dark red in autumn which makes this plant a striking feature then.

S. fortunei ‘Shiranami’ has fluffy double white flowers in profusion and green leaves. It seems to us that this is a plant which can get confused about when it is supposed to flower as it does not always perform on time in the autumn and can be flowering still in early spring. This has been the case in pots here in the nursery.


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