Open the Advanced Search

Irish Saxifrage

Saxifraga rosacea

Please keep in mind that it is illegal to uproot a plant without the landowner's consent and care should be taken at all times not to damage wild plants. Wild plants should never be picked for pleasure and some plants are protected by law.
For more information please download the BSBI Code of Conduct PDF document.


Plant Profile

Flowering Months:
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage)
Life Cycle:
Maximum Size:
20 centimetres tall
Cliffs, gardens, mountains, riversides, rocky places, waterside.

White, 5 petals
White flowers, up to 2cm in diameter. Flowers are erect while in bud. The buds of the similar looking Mossy Saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides) are nodding.
The fruit is a capsule.
3-lobed leaves, broader and not as sharply pointed as the similar looking Mossy Saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides).
Other Names:
Rosy Saxifrage.
Frequency (UK):
Rarely seen  

Similar Species

Other Information


Saxifraga rosacea, also known as Rosy Saxifrage, is a perennial flowering plant 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 small, pink, bell-shaped flowers in the spring. It is often used as a ground cover plant in rock gardens or as an edging plant in flower beds. It prefers well-drained, moist soil and partial shade to full sun. It can be propagated by seed or division of the clumps.


Irish saxifrage (Saxifraga rosacea) is a small but stunning perennial herb that belongs to the saxifrage family, Saxifragaceae. This beautiful plant is native to the island of Ireland and is known for its striking, bright pink flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer.

The Irish saxifrage plant typically grows to a height of around 15-20cm and produces a rosette of basal leaves that are deeply lobed and dark green in colour. The flowers are borne on slender stems that emerge from the rosette, and each flower consists of five petals that are fused at the base to form a shallow cup.

The petals of the Irish saxifrage flowers are a vivid shade of pink, with darker pink veins that radiate out from the centre of the flower. The stamens are also pink, which adds to the overall striking appearance of the plant.

Irish saxifrage is a hardy plant that can tolerate a range of growing conditions, but it prefers well-drained soil and a location that receives partial shade. It is often found growing in rocky areas, particularly in the west of Ireland, where it is native.

In addition to its ornamental value, Irish saxifrage has also been used in traditional medicine to treat a range of ailments. The plant contains various bioactive compounds, including tannins and flavonoids, which have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

Despite its beauty and medicinal properties, Irish saxifrage is unfortunately under threat in its natural habitat due to a range of factors, including habitat loss, climate change, and competition from invasive plant species. As such, it is important that efforts are made to protect and conserve this wonderful plant for future generations to enjoy.

Irish saxifrage is a stunning and hardy plant that is native to the island of Ireland. With its bright pink flowers and ornamental value, as well as its traditional medicinal uses, it is a plant that is well worth celebrating and protecting.

Irish saxifrage is an important part of Ireland's natural heritage and has been celebrated in Irish culture for centuries. In Irish folklore, the plant was believed to have magical properties and was associated with fairies and other supernatural beings.

The Latin name for Irish saxifrage, Saxifraga rosacea, reflects its rosette-shaped leaves, with "saxifraga" meaning "stone-breaker" in reference to the plant's ability to grow in rocky environments, and "rosacea" referring to the pink colour of the flowers.

While Irish saxifrage is primarily found in the wild, it is also grown in gardens and used in rockeries, alpine gardens, and other outdoor spaces. It can also be propagated by seed or by dividing established plants.

In addition to its medicinal properties, Irish saxifrage has also been used in traditional Irish cuisine. The leaves have a slightly bitter taste and can be used to flavour soups, stews, and other dishes.

Irish saxifrage is a beautiful and fascinating plant that is an important part of Ireland's natural heritage. With its ornamental value, medicinal properties, and cultural significance, it is a plant that is truly worthy of admiration and protection.

Irish saxifrage is one of several species of saxifrage that are native to Ireland. Other notable species include Pyrenean saxifrage (Saxifraga pyrenaica), rock saxifrage (Saxifraga spathularis), and mossy saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides). These plants can be found growing in similar environments to Irish saxifrage and share some of its characteristics, such as their ability to grow in rocky habitats.

Irish saxifrage has also been the subject of scientific study, with researchers investigating its genetic makeup and evolutionary history. These studies have revealed insights into the plant's adaptation to its environment and its relationships with other species.

Conservation efforts are currently underway to protect Irish saxifrage and other native species in Ireland. This includes the designation of protected areas and the implementation of measures to prevent habitat loss and fragmentation.

In addition to conservation efforts, there are also opportunities for people to get involved in the preservation of Irish saxifrage and other native species. This can include volunteering with local conservation groups, supporting sustainable land use practices, and promoting awareness and appreciation of Ireland's natural heritage.

Overall, Irish saxifrage is a fascinating and beautiful plant that is an important part of Ireland's biodiversity. With its cultural significance, ornamental value, and ecological importance, it is a plant that is truly worth celebrating and protecting.

Distribution Map

Reproduced by kind permission of the BSBI.

Click to open an Interactive Map