THREE LATEFLOWERING SAXIFRAGA
Chosen by plant hunter
When thinking of saxifraga, you might envisage the simple alpine specimens that flower in summer and hug the ground.
However, the Saxifragaceae family is deceptively extensive, with around 640 known species in 33 accepted genera, and offers some unusual lateflowering varieties. This hand-picked collection flourishes later in the season, bringing muchneeded vibrancy and interest to your garden during the colder months. They’re excellent at embellishing shady areas with grace, while their starry blooms sparkle with boundless delicacy and intrigue. Team with other woodlanddwelling perennials such as Asplenium scolopendrium or epimedium and watch them thrive in slightly ericaceous, humus-rich, well-drained soil. Height and spread 8in-1ft (20-30cm).
From September to November, this variety’s neat rosettes of glossy green foliage are topped with masses of bright-white flowers with sparkling yellow centres. Up close, they offer a raggedy splayed charm and their stems are sometimes flushed red. Even though the foliage is deciduous, it’s a lovely specimen to combine in rockeries and containers.
This recently introduced Japanese woodland saxifraga creates an abundance of winered, star-shaped flowers above succulent evergreen foliage that blushes ruby red in autumn. Its exuberantly oversized bracts encompass the flowers, which arrive from October to November and appear on short, stout stems.
‘Gokka’ is floriferous and in your face – plant it in a pot and watch it steal the show. Its rounded clumps of scalloped leaves are fleshy to the touch and nestle neatly below flamboyant, cerise-pink petals. Repeat through the front of a semi-shaded border, or pair with blue-flowered plants for a marvellous colour contrast from September to November.