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Yellow Saxifrage

Saxifraga aizoides

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Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
15 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, mountains, riverbanks, rocky places, sand dunes, swamps, waterside, wetland.

Yellow, 5 petals
The flowers of Yellow Saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides) in the UK are small and have a bright yellow color. These flowers have five petals and are star-shaped. They are typically clustered at the end of stems and bloom in late spring to early summer, from May to August. These vibrant yellow flowers serve as a striking contrast to the green or bluish-green foliage of the plant, making them highly visible in their alpine and subalpine habitats.
The fruit of Yellow Saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides) in the UK is typically a small, dry capsule. These capsules contain tiny seeds and are often brown or brownish-green in color. When the capsules mature and dry out, they split open, releasing the seeds into the surrounding environment. The small seeds of Yellow Saxifrage are adapted for wind dispersal, allowing them to spread and establish new plants in their rocky alpine habitats.
The leaves of Yellow Saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides) in the UK are typically arranged in rosettes and are green to bluish-green in color. They have a fleshy texture and are often described as succulent. These leaves are deeply lobed and have a slightly toothed or serrated margin. They are adapted to conserve moisture in the harsh alpine and subalpine environments where Yellow Saxifrage thrives. The leaves form dense mats close to the ground and provide a base from which the plant sends up its flowering stems.
Yellow Saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides) in the UK does not typically have a noticeable aroma. It is primarily valued for its appearance and adaptation to alpine environments, but it is not known for its fragrance. This plant is more renowned for its vibrant yellow flowers and hardy, low-growing nature than for any distinct scent or aroma.
Other Names:
Evergreen Saxifrage, Yellow Mountain Saxifrage.
Frequency (UK):

Similar Species

Other Information


Saxifraga aizoides, also known as yellow mountain saxifrage, is a perennial flowering plant in the saxifrage family that is native to the mountains of central and southern Europe. It is a low-growing plant that has rosettes of evergreen leaves and produces yellow, star-shaped flowers in the spring. It prefers well-drained, moist soil and partial shade to full sun. It is often used as a ground cover plant in rock gardens or as an edging plant in flower beds. It can be propagated by seed or division of the clumps. It is hardy, easy to grow and can thrive in rocky or gravelly soils.


Yellow Saxifrage, also known as Saxifraga aizoides, is a beautiful perennial plant that belongs to the Saxifragaceae family. It is commonly found in the arctic and subarctic regions of North America, Europe, and Asia. The plant is a low-growing herb that typically reaches a height of 5-15 cm.

Yellow Saxifrage is easily recognizable by its bright yellow flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer. The flowers are held on short stems and have five petals that form a star shape. The leaves of the plant are fleshy and grow in a basal rosette, meaning that they emerge from the base of the stem. The leaves are smooth and range in color from dark green to reddish-purple.

Yellow Saxifrage is a hardy plant that can grow in a variety of conditions. It prefers well-draining soil that is moist but not waterlogged. The plant is also tolerant of cold temperatures and can survive in areas with frost and snow.

One interesting fact about Yellow Saxifrage is that it is used in traditional medicine. The plant contains compounds that have been found to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. In some cultures, Yellow Saxifrage is also used as a treatment for respiratory ailments such as coughs and bronchitis.

Yellow Saxifrage is a popular plant for rock gardens and alpine gardens. It is also suitable for use in containers and hanging baskets. The plant can be propagated by division in the spring or by taking stem cuttings in the summer.

Yellow Saxifrage is a beautiful and hardy plant that is well-suited for a variety of garden settings. Its bright yellow flowers and fleshy leaves make it a striking addition to any garden. Additionally, its medicinal properties add to its value and make it a useful plant to have on hand.

Yellow Saxifrage is a popular plant for attracting pollinators such as bees and butterflies to the garden. The bright yellow flowers are a rich source of nectar and pollen, which these insects feed on. By attracting pollinators to the garden, Yellow Saxifrage can help improve the overall health of the ecosystem and promote biodiversity.

The plant is also popular among hikers and outdoor enthusiasts. Its low-growing habit and hardiness make it well-suited for growing in rocky and mountainous areas. In fact, Yellow Saxifrage is often found growing on cliffs, rocky outcrops, and along stream banks in the wild. Its ability to thrive in these challenging environments has earned it the nickname "rockbreaker."

Yellow Saxifrage has a long history of use in traditional medicine. It has been used to treat a wide range of ailments, including wounds, cuts, bruises, and sore throats. The plant contains compounds such as tannins and flavonoids that have been found to have anti-inflammatory, astringent, and antimicrobial properties.

Yellow Saxifrage is also known for its culinary uses. In some cultures, the young leaves of the plant are eaten raw or cooked and used in salads or as a vegetable. The leaves have a slightly bitter flavor and are rich in vitamins and minerals.

Yellow Saxifrage is a versatile plant with a wide range of uses. From its striking appearance in the garden to its traditional medicinal and culinary uses, this plant is a true gem. Whether you are a gardener, hiker, or someone interested in traditional medicine, Yellow Saxifrage is a plant that is definitely worth exploring.

Yellow Saxifrage has a number of interesting adaptations that allow it to thrive in challenging environments. For example, the plant is able to grow in areas with poor soil by developing a thick root system that can absorb nutrients from the surrounding rocks and soil. This allows the plant to survive in areas where other plants may not be able to grow.

The fleshy leaves of Yellow Saxifrage also serve an important function. They store water and nutrients, which the plant can use during periods of drought or nutrient scarcity. This adaptation is particularly important in areas where water is scarce or where the growing season is short.

Yellow Saxifrage is also able to reproduce asexually by producing small bulbils or plantlets that grow on the stems of the plant. These bulbils can grow into new plants, allowing the plant to quickly spread and colonize new areas.

Finally, Yellow Saxifrage is an important indicator of climate change. As a plant that is adapted to cold, Arctic and subarctic environments, it is particularly sensitive to changes in temperature and moisture levels. Scientists are studying the distribution and growth patterns of Yellow Saxifrage as a way of monitoring the effects of climate change in these regions.

In conclusion, Yellow Saxifrage is a fascinating plant with a number of interesting adaptations and uses. From its hardiness and adaptability in challenging environments, to its traditional medicinal and culinary uses, this plant is a true treasure. Its bright yellow flowers and fleshy leaves make it a beautiful addition to any garden, while its role in promoting biodiversity and serving as an indicator of climate change make it an important plant for scientists and environmentalists.

30 Facts About Yellow Saxifrage

Here are 30 facts about Yellow Saxifrage (Saxifraga aizoides):

  1. Yellow Saxifrage, scientifically known as Saxifraga aizoides, is a perennial flowering plant.

  2. It is a member of the Saxifragaceae family.

  3. Yellow Saxifrage is native to mountainous regions of Europe, including the Alps, the Pyrenees, and the Scottish Highlands.

  4. This plant is often found in alpine and subalpine habitats, growing at high elevations.

  5. The name "aizoides" is derived from the Greek word "aizoon," which means "immortal" or "evergreen," referring to its hardiness.

  6. Yellow Saxifrage typically grows in rocky, well-draining soils and can thrive in nutrient-poor conditions.

  7. The plant forms low, dense mats of rosette-shaped leaves that are green to bluish-green in color.

  8. Its leaves are succulent and have a fleshy texture, helping it retain moisture in harsh alpine environments.

  9. The flowering stems of Yellow Saxifrage can reach heights of 5 to 15 centimeters (2 to 6 inches).

  10. It produces small, star-shaped flowers that are bright yellow in color, giving the plant its name.

  11. Yellow Saxifrage blooms in late spring to early summer, typically from May to July.

  12. The flowers are held in clusters at the end of stems and have five petals.

  13. These flowers are adapted to attract pollinators like bees and flies.

  14. Yellow Saxifrage is a hardy plant that can endure harsh weather conditions, including freezing temperatures and strong winds.

  15. It is known for its ability to grow in crevices and gaps between rocks, making it well-suited to alpine environments.

  16. Yellow Saxifrage is often used as an ornamental plant in rock gardens due to its attractive flowers and low-growing habit.

  17. In some regions, it is considered a protected species due to its vulnerability to habitat destruction and overcollection.

  18. The plant's roots are shallow and fibrous, helping it anchor itself to rocky substrates.

  19. Yellow Saxifrage can reproduce both sexually through seed production and asexually through vegetative propagation.

  20. It is a pioneer species, meaning it can colonize barren or disturbed areas and prepare the soil for other plant species.

  21. In traditional herbal medicine, Yellow Saxifrage has been used for its astringent and diuretic properties.

  22. The plant has also been used in some cultures to treat urinary tract and kidney disorders.

  23. Yellow Saxifrage is a crucial part of alpine ecosystems, providing habitat and food for various insects and wildlife.

  24. In the wild, Yellow Saxifrage often grows alongside other alpine plants like mosses, lichens, and sedges.

  25. The plant's ability to grow in high-altitude environments contributes to soil stabilization and erosion control.

  26. It is often referred to as "Rockfoil" due to its affinity for rocky substrates.

  27. The genus Saxifraga includes over 400 species, with Yellow Saxifrage being one of the most well-known.

  28. Yellow Saxifrage has adapted to survive in conditions of low oxygen and intense UV radiation at high altitudes.

  29. The plant's yellow flowers serve as a source of nectar for alpine pollinators.

  30. Efforts are being made to conserve and protect Yellow Saxifrage and its fragile alpine habitats in various parts of Europe.


Yellow Saxifrage filmed on Loughrigg Fell in the Lake District on the 17th June 2023.


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Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

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