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Saxifraga ×geum

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Authors: L.  

Botanical Description

Until recently treated as a species, this is now known to be a hybrid between S. umbrosa and S. hirsuta. Forms dark green carpets of rather lax rosettes. Leaves long-petioled with rounded or oval, shallowly crenate hairy blades with red undersides. Flowering stems 18-25cm tall, bearing panicles of numerous small white flowers, petals 4-5mm, yellow at the base and spotted red. The form and toothing of the leaves are very variable and in the past these variations in form have been named and distributed as 'Crenata', 'Dentata', 'Gracilis' etc. This practice now seems to have ceased. S. X geum occurs mainly in the Pyrenees but has become naturalised in many European countries including Britain. It is a fairly easy plant to cultivate providing it is given damp, shady conditions. It does not make a great floral display but has good winter foliage.