Saxifraga paniculata subsp. paniculata
Common Name: lifelong saxifrage 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Native Range: Europe, Caucasus, North America
Zone: 2 to 6
Height: 0.50 to 1.00 feet
Spread: 0.25 to 0.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to August
Bloom Description: White to pink to yellow
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Best planted in cool summer climates in part shade locations. Prefers moist, gritty, well-drained soils in part shade. Good tolerance for morning sun. Established plants have some drought tolerance. New rosettes form at the stolon ends or at the base of the rosette, resulting in plants sometimes expanding to form small colonies. Plants often struggle (thin out in the middle) in hot, dry and humid summers south of USDA Zone 6. Plants are difficult to grow well in the St. Louis climate.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Saxifraga paniculata is a circumboreal species that is native to rocky ledges and crevices in Europe, eastern Asia and North America south to New England and the Great Lakes. It is a stoloniferous perennial that typically forms a spreading basal rosette (to 6" tall) of flat, leathery, finely-serrate, oblong to obovate leaves (each to 1.5" long) with silvery encrustations on the margins. Flowers (each to 1/2" diameter) bloom in elongated clusters atop upright stems rising well above the rosette to 12" tall. Flower color is variable, ranging from white to creamy white to pink to yellow sometimes with purple spotting. Flowers bloom mid-June to August. Plants of this species are divided into three subspecies: S. paniculata subsp. paniculata (central Europe), S. paniculata subsp. cartilaginea (Causcasus) and S. paniculata subsp. laestadii (Norway, Iceland and North America).

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.

Specific epithet means with flowers in panicles.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Part shade areas of rock gardens or borders. Excellent selection as a small ground cover for cool shady areas, especially when sprawling into crevices and over rocks.