Saxifraga ambrosa

This saxifrage, commonly known as London pride, is a rock plant from the Pyrenees, and by its nature looks most at home in the garden near stone or brick. Like other members of the huge saxifrage genus, it has beautiful leaves. Flat rosettes form an evergreen carpet from which rise tremulous panicles of pinkand-white flowers in early summer. The rosettes spread at a great pace, so that four or five plants, put in 12 inches (30 cm) apart, will soon form a mat of ground-cover.

As its name implies, this saxifrage likes shade and will put up with poor soil so long as it is not too dry. When the flowers have faded, pick off the dead stalks in handfuls, and you still have your carpet of rosettes.

There is a good variegated form of S. umbrosa with greenand-yellow leaves, and a dwarf form. S. u. pnmuloides ‘Elliott’s Variety’, with rose-red flowers no more than A inches (10 cm) tall.

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