Saxifraga hypnoides   Mossy Saxifrage or Dovedale Moss C DD N

Saxifraga hypnoides The Mound Saxifraga hypnoides Cwm Idwal

This is a quite common saxifrage in Limestone dales of Derbyshire and in the North Wales hills. In North Wales it grows amongst other saxifrages like the Saxifraga stellaris (Starry Saxifrage). In these damp sometimes wet conditions the leaves are light green and spread out from the plant like moss.

On limestone pavement or other rocks such as those on The Mound near Golspie the leaves can be quite bronzy in colour. This is often due to the prevalence of leaf pigments anthocyanins or carotenoids in the leaves. These molecules give the leaves an orange or red colour. There could also be a lack of magnesium needed to make the normal green chlorophyll but the plants here on The Mound seemed very healthy if quite compact.

Saxifraga hypnoides is found throughout the British Isles with the highest concentration of sites in Scotland but the largest numbers of this plant I have seen is in the northern Pennines of Great Dunn Fell where it is so common the hillsides are white with flowers.

Saxifraga hypnoides

Saxifraga hypnoides Mossy Saxifrage

Near Knock Ore Gill, Cumbria, 16th June 2008

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Saxifraga hypnoides Mossy Saxifrage

LHS The Mound, Golspie 16th May 2007 RHS Cwm Idwal 7th June 2005

Added on 3rd February 2005, amended 24th May 2007, updated January 29th 2012

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