16. THE SAXIFRAGA FAMILY
This may be the largest outdoor collection of Saxifraga species in the world, as many of these mountain plants are cultivated under roof further south.
|Raudsildre/purple saxifrage (Saxifraga oppositifolia)|
This may be the largest outdoor collection of Saxifraga species in the world, as many of these mountain plants are cultivated under roof further south. The Saxifraga family (Saxifragaceae) also includes broad-leaved genera with centres in North America, such as Boykinia, Heuchera and Micranthes, the latter with several Norwegian species still mostly known as saxifrages.
Numerous evergreen cushion plants of the section Porphyrion dominate in early spring. About 60 of the species are present in addition to cultivars. Then the mossy saxifrages flower in June, followed by the silver saxifrages (section Ligulatae). The latter have robust, evergreen rosettes, and the pyramidal saxifrage (S. cotyledon) was chosen as the Norwegian national plant already in the 30s. Several other sections are cultivated near the entrance with lilacs, e.g. the London pride section Gymnoptera, easy also in warmer climates. However, the yellow-flowered section Ciliatae is a speciality with us. We grow c. 20 species and they are almost impossible in southern gardens.
Several enthusiasts, such as Ole Olsen, Beryl Bland, Peter Smith and Ger van den Beuken contributed during the establishing phase of the collection.