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 rock gardens.
- ‘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.’
- ‘And the mountain zones are rife with arctic wildflowers like arctic willows and saxifrage.’
- ‘Alpine forget-me-nots, snow gentian, moss campion and an abundance of saxifrages grow here on the steep slopes.’
Late Middle English: from Old French saxifrage or late Latin saxifraga (herba), from Latin saxum ‘rock’ + frangere ‘break’.
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