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Types of Flowers
With the exception of rock garden enthusiasts, flowers of the Saxifrage family (Saxifragaceae) probably fall a bit short of the top of most gardener's must grow list.
The name Saxifraga derives from a Latin root meaning stone and break, and most of the over seventy different Saxifraga species found throughout North America, are mid to higher elevation species found growing among the rocks and stones.
Most species also grow low to the ground, presenting themselves as perennial herbs with blooms of small white flowers. This brief overview of Saxifrage highlights their distinctive looking, yet dainty flowers.
The first picture shows a Western Saxifrage (Saxifraga occidentalis) with multiple flowers blooming on the branches of a single stem.
Not shown in the picture is the plant's cluster of basal leaves that anchor the stem.
Western Saxifrage extends its range across much of the Western North America, from the Rocky Mountains, west past the Cascades. It also grow at both low and high altitudes.
Fringecup (Tellima grandiflora), the sole representative of genus Tellima, calls the forest areas of the West Coast home.
As spring warms the forest floor, Fringecup begin growing, producing small blooming flowers with a fringe along the top edges.
Prairie Stars, native West Coast plants in the Lithophragma genus grow to be thin, almost leafless blooms of five pointed petal tops.
The top picture shows a flower that has lost a petal or two. The petals' segmented shape give the flower a unique look.
The prairie or woodland moniker refers to the plant's preferred habitat.
Edibility and toxicity reports covering Lithophragma species are sketchy.
The Piggyback plant (tolmiea menziesii), also called Youth-On-Age, represents the tolmiea genus in the United States.
It grows spring through summer in low altitude forest areas West of the Cascades, in Canada and Alaska.
The thin, tubular flowers bloom on alternate sides of a thin stem.
© 2009-2011 Patricia A. Michaels