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Saxifraga spathularis

Saxifraga spathularis is also known as St Patrick’s Cabbage, Robertsoniana Saxifrage, Prattling Parnell, Pyrenean Saxifrage, or in Irish Cabáiste mhadra rua. It is from the Saxifragaceae family of plants. It is native to Portugal, Spain, and Ireland.

Saxifraga spathularis is a perennial. It is a wildflower. It flowers from May to August. It grows in a humid rocky landscape. Saxifraga in Latin means “stone breaker”.

It usually grows in acid conditions with very high rainfall. Raining over 1m, or 3ft. Saxifraga spathularis has a spreading habit. It is a stoloniferous plant. These are plants that have a horizontal stem above the ground that usually helps produce vertical stems and roots at the nodes.

Saxifraga spathularis
Saxifraga spathularis

Saxifraga spathularis is part of the Lusitanian flora. This identifies a group of 15 species of plants. They are found in Ireland and the Iberian Peninsula. They are not present in England or Western France. Though the habitat is very similar. Other Lusitanian plants include the Strawberry Tree and Irish Fleabane.

Saxifraga spathularis
Saxifraga spathularis

Saxifraga spathularis has thick green leaves. They have zig-zag edges and are elliptic. The leaves form a rosette. In summer panicles of star-shaped flowers grow. The flowers have five petals. They are pink or white. And they are spotted with dark pink or red spots.

Saxifraga spathularis produces ellipsoid capsules containing seeds. Grow Saxifraga spathularis in partial shade. Plant it in moist, but well-drained soil. It is about 40cm or 16in. when it flowers.

Saxifraga spathularis
Saxifraga spathularis
Saxifraga spathularis
Saxifraga spathularis at Kew Garden, London, UK

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I am a flower enthusiast and a gardener at heart. Ever since childhood I loved reading about plants and started gardening at an early age. First by helping my father in the garden and later managing a large garden myself in my teen years. I planted and cared for a large number of plants, flowers, and trees both outdoors and in a greenhouse. To this day I enjoy visiting gardens and parks and learning about new and old specimens and varieties of plants.

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