Saxifraga × arendsii

white form
Common Name: rockfoil 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 0.50 to 0.75 feet
Spread: 0.75 to 1.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Pink, rose, red or white
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

This plant is winter hardy to USDA Zones 5-7 where it is best grown in moist, organically rich, humusy, gritty, well-drained soils in part shade. Tolerates significant amounts of shade. Will grow in sunny locations in cool summer climates, but moisture must be consistent. Avoid overwatering. Performs poorly in the hot and humid climate of the deep South where plants will often rot out in the center in summer. Propagate by softwood cuttings or division. Hybrids may be grown from seed, but may not come true.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Saxifraga × arendsii , known as the Arendsii hybrids, are a group of over forty (40) evergreen saxifrage cultivars (now assigned to the Dactyloides Group) which were developed and introduced by Arends Nursery in Ronsdorf-Wuppertal near Cologne, Germany. Georg Arends (1863-1952) founded this nursery in 1888 and first started working with saxifrage shortly thereafter. Arundsii hybrids typically grow to 8” tall with a spread to 12” wide, forming foliage mats of tiny mossy oval dark green leaves in rosettes. Pink, rose, red or white 5-stellate single flowers in cymes bloom about one inch above the foliage in May and June. After flowering, plants remain in the garden for the remainder of the year as attractive moss-like foliage clumps.

The arendsii hybrids originally were the products of crosses between S. exarata subsp. moschata x S. decipiens (now S. rosacea) and (S. rosacea x S. granulate), but today the term x arendsii is often being applied in a somewhat broader fashion to include all of the mossy saxifrages.

Individual named Arendsii cultivars have somewhat subtile differences, the primary ones being plant height and flower color.

Genus name comes from the Latin words saxum meaning rock and frangere meaning to break in reference to habit of some Saxifrage plants to take up residence in the fissures of rocks resulting over time in a further eroding or crumbling (breaking away) of the rock.

Hybrid name honors German nurseryman and plant breeder Georg Arends (1863-1952).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in poorly drained soils. Aphids, slugs, weevils and spider mites may appear.

Garden Uses

Evergreen foliage is attractive year round. Part shade areas of the landscape. Border fronts. Foundations. Ground cover. They are evergreen, and form spreading mats hugging the ground between rocks or over the edges of walls. Arendsii hybrids are some of the most popular plants for rockeries.