One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A low-growing plant of poor soils, bearing small white, yellow, or red flowers and forming rosettes of succulent leaves or hummocks of mossy leaves. Many are grown as alpines in rockeries.
- ‘Alpine forget-me-nots, snow gentian, moss campion and an abundance of saxifrages grow here on the steep slopes.’
- ‘And the mountain zones are rife with arctic wildflowers like arctic willows and saxifrage.’
- ‘In the top of the wall, to soften the lines, Douglas has planted tough, low-growing alpines such as sedums, saxifrages and alpine pinks Dianthus alpinus.’
- ‘This is Arctic Canada at its best: a northern landscape blooming with purple mountain saxifrage, moss campion, and mountain avens.’
- ‘As for rock plants themselves, there are thousands of perennials and small shrubs to choose from, including a host of dianthus, saxifrages, sedums, and sempervivums.’
Late Middle English: from Old French saxifrage or late Latin saxifraga (herba), from Latin saxum ‘rock’ + frangere ‘break’.
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