:"See HMS Saxifrage for ship names. For the fictional character, see Sax Russell."Taxobox
name = "Saxifraga"

image_width = 240px
image_caption = "Saxifraga oppositifolia"
regnum = Plantae
divisio = Magnoliophyta
classis = Magnoliopsida
ordo = Saxifragales
familia = Saxifragaceae
genus = "Saxifraga"
genus_authority = L.
subdivision_ranks = Species
subdivision = See text.

"Saxifraga" is a plant genus with about 440 known species of perennials, making it the largest genus in the family Saxifragaceae.

The Latin word "Saxifraga" comes from Latin "saxum", "rock", and "frangere", "to break". These plants are known for their ability to settle in the cracks of rocks.

The following sections of the genus are currently recognised:
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Ciliatae"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Cotylea"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Cymbalaria"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Gymnopera" (London Pride saxifrages)
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Heterisia"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Irregulares"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Ligulatae" (Silver saxifrages)
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Merkianae"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Mesogyne"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Micranthes"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Odontophyllae"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Porphyrion"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Saxifraga" (Mossy saxifrages)
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Trachyphyllum"
*"Saxifraga" sect. "Xanthizoon"

;Selected species
* "Saxifraga aizoides" (Yellow Mountain Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga cernua" (Drooping Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga cespitosa" (Tufted Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga cotyledon"
* "Saxifraga flagellaris" (Whiplash Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga hieracifolia"
* "Saxifraga micranthidifolia" (Brook Lettuce)
* "Saxifraga nivalis" (Purple Mountain Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga oppositifolia" (Purple Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga paniculata"
* "Saxifraga rotundifolia"
* "Saxifraga stellaris" (Starry Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga stolonifera" (Creeping Saxifrage)
* "Saxifraga urbium" (London Pride)

Saxifrages are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Grey Chi and Hebrew Character.

Cultivation and uses

The hybrid "Saxifraga × urbium" (London Pride) is commonly grown as an ornamental plant.

Mentions in Literature

* In William Carlos Williams' famous poem "A Sort of a Song," Williams refers to his idea of perception (to see through the metaphorical rock, see into the essence of the object, "no ideas but in things") when he writes "Invent! Saxifrage is my flower that splits the rocks."

* In Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars Trilogy the character Sax Russel, an atmospheric scientist sent to Mars as part of Earth's first colony attempt on the red planet, is named after this plant. There are several references to this plant genus and Robinson uses the plant's common name "stonebreaker" and descriptions of the flower to describe aspects of Russel's personality.

External links

* [ Saxifrage society]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • saxifrage — [ saksifraʒ ] n. f. et adj. • XIIIe; du lat. saxum « rocher » et frangere « briser » 1 ♦ Plante herbacée (saxifragacées) dont certaines espèces croissent dans les fissures des rochers et des murs. « leurs parois où pendent les filaments des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Saxifrage — Sax i*frage (?; 48), n. [L. saxifraga, from saxifragus stone breaking; saxum rock + frangere to break: cf. F. saxifrage. See {Fracture}, and cf. {Sassafras}, {Saxon}.] (Bot.) Any plant of the genus {Saxifraga}, mostly perennial herbs growing in… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • saxifrage — late 14c., from O.Fr. saxifrage (13c.), from L.L. saxifraga kind of herb, from L. saxifraga herba, lit. a rock breaking herb, from saxifragus stonebreaking, from saxum stone, rock + frag , root of frangere to break (see FRACTION (Cf. fraction …   Etymology dictionary

  • saxifrage — [sak′sə frij΄] n. [ME < MFr < L saxifraga < saxum, a rock (see SAXATILE) + base of frangere, to BREAK: prob. from growing in rock crevices] any of a genus (Saxifraga) of chiefly perennial plants of the saxifrage family, with small white …   English World dictionary

  • saxifrage — Saxifrage, ou Rompierre, Saxifragum, ou Saxifraga …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • saxifrage — ► NOUN ▪ a low growing plant of rocky or stony ground, bearing small white, yellow, or red flowers. ORIGIN Latin saxifraga, from saxum rock + frangere to break …   English terms dictionary

  • Saxifrage — Saxifrag …   Wikipédia en Français

  • saxifrage — (sa ksi fra j ) adj. 1°   Ancien terme de médecine. Propre à dissoudre la pierre ; on dit aujourd hui lithontriptique. 2°   S. f. Genre de la famille des saxifragées où l on distingue : la saxifrage ombreuse, appelée généralement aigrette par les …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • saxifrage — /sak seuh frij/, n. any plant of the genus Saxifraga, certain species of which grow wild in the clefts of rocks, other species of which are cultivated for their flowers. Cf. saxifrage family. [1400 50; late ME < L saxifraga (herba) stone breaking …   Universalium

  • saxifrage — [15] The saxifrage is etymologically the ‘stone breaker’. The word comes via Old French saxifrage from late Latin saxifraga, a compound formed from Latin saxum ‘rock’ and frag , the stem of frangere ‘break’ (source of English fraction, fracture,… …   The Hutchinson dictionary of word origins

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