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May 2008 - Rusty Saxifrage
 
Rusty Saxifrage, Saxifraga rufidula
Rusty Saxifrage, Saxifraga rufidula

If you're lucky to live in or near the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, keep your eyes open for this rare, early-blooming plant, as it's easily not noticed, often hidden by the surrounding vegetation.

The Rusty Saxifrage is a small perennial with single stems rising 15-35 cm high from a cluster of leaves at the base.

 

Rusty Saxifrage, Saxifraga rufidula

There are over 400 species of Saxifrages. The name comes from the Latin saxun, meaning "rock" and frangere, meaning "to break" and refers to their ability to settle in and grow in the cracks of rocks.

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