Plant of the moment: Saxifraga fortunei

My plant of the moment is the Saxifraga fortunei ‘Wada’s Form’.  I bought this plant two years ago at the Malvern Autumn Show and it has really taken off over the past year, culminating in a fantastic display of pretty little flowers.

I was surprised to discover that there are quite a wide range Saxifragas but the one I am loving at the moment is a Saxifraga fortunei.   The plant is a herbaceous perennial which doesn’t grow to more than 40cm in height.  My plant is slowly bulking up and I think it has doubled in size since last summer.  The reason I like Saxifragas so much is their lovely shiny leaves which for me puts them above Heucheras which has similar size leaves.

The real bonus at the moment are the flowers as you can see in the photo above.  My plant is covered in countless long stems each of which has around five flower stems coming off them.  The end of each stem is comprised of numerous tiny star like white flowers with yellow stigma and long white anthers. Frothy is the only way to describe it.

These Saxifragas prefer woodland  conditions  although will  be happy with partial shade so they don’t get frazzled in the sun.  They like moist well drained soil in other words they don’t like having their roots sitting in water but at the same time they don’t like to be in dry soil which has no moisture at all.

I am thinking that I might divide the plant in the Spring so I can spread it around the garden more


17 Comments on “Plant of the moment: Saxifraga fortunei

  1. These look fantastic – I have been thinking about planting some in a very shady corner outside our kitchen window.

    How quickly do they spread? Was it just one plant you started with?


  2. Hi Charlie – thanks for dropping by. Yes I started with one good size plant two years ago – about a 1 litre pot. It dies back quite a bit in the winter but the new leaves are very pretty as they come through

  3. I discovered saxifraga only recently when suddenly realized that there is a perfect spot for a shade garden behind the garage. Several plants which I got are spreading and blooming. They are Saxifraga X geum and S. stolonifera. Your S. fortunei looks pretty good with its shiny leaves and a bunch of flowers! I also read your post about rabbits and other wildlife. I don’t know if it’ll give you any comfort, but in one of Italian restaurants, I ordered and ate a rabbit . While eating it, I was thinking that it was my symbolic revenge against all rabbits which damage our gardens! BTW, thank you for your comments on my recent posts!

  4. I love your little saxifrage. I have mainly only woodland conditions and have wanted to be successful with this plant. Sadly I”ve not had much luck but may give it another try. It is sweet! I’m putting it on my list now. I’m still looking at the grass and need to get my book out. I don’t think it is arundo though. I am familiar with that and my grass is not so cane like but it might be. I’ll let you know. Thanks for helping.

  5. Lovely looking plant – I love seeing things I can’t grow here, it’s like visiting a special garden I can’t have, but it also makes me content with the plants that are happy in dry conditions.

  6. I discovered these saxifrges at an RHS Autumn show a few years ago & wondered why they weren’t better known as they are so pretty & autumn flowers are always a good thing. I have had several but as they were only small when i bought them & they got a bit crowded by other plants they disappeared. I do still have a white one but there are some lovely pink ones .

  7. I’ve finally found the right position for my Saxifraga Fortunei ‘Silver velvet’-It’s flowering for the first time…It’s only taken 4 years.

  8. Thank you – you’ve reminded me that I’ve had Saxifraga fortunei in my mental wishlist for several years (since I saw Ms B’s!) and not got round to buying one yet … must write it down so that I don’t forget again.

  9. Love this plant – the flower spike mine produced in its first year was amazing and lasted a long time. Went to a Plant Fair yesterday 8 4 12 and snapped up a saxifrage Black Ruby – another fortunei which has nearly black foliage and rich pink flowers very late in the season – Oct/Nov. A real find – they disappear in Winter and bounce back in early Spring.


  10. I bought one only yesterday, saxifraga fortunei ‘Blackberry and Apple Pie’, with very pretty leaves, burgundy on the back, and creamy white flowers.

    • My Saxifrage Fortunei is flowering and looks great – the Black Ruby I bought at the Plant Fair At Dorothy Clive garden succumbed to something or other – really don’t know what – it had everything it required on its label but obviously decided not to co-operate with me!! Shame because it looked as if it was going to be a really lovely plant – disappointed really but Wada does the job. Hope Blackberry and Apple pie can’t read!! What a lovely name! do let me know how it fares. Happy gardening.

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