Pyramidal Saxifrage Saxifraga cotyledon (8)

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
pyramidal saxifrage


Saxifraga cotyledon is commonly known as the pyramidal saxifrage. This plant is characterized by an attractive rosette formation, consisting of fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves that are often a bright green color. These leaves form a dense basal clump from the center of which emerges the flowering stalk. The plant produces tall flower spikes with a pyramid-like shape. The flowers themselves are quite small and star-shaped, usually of a delicate white color with a hint of pink or red on their edges, and they appear to be densely clustered together, giving the flower spike a foamy appearance. These flowers are not only visually striking but can also provide a subtle fragrance, which may attract various garden pollinators. The stalk and the undersides of the leaves may have a reddish tinge, which contrasts nicely with the overall greenery of the plant. Throughout flowering, this plant can develop a striking presence in rock gardens or alpine collections, where its floral display becomes a focal point. Throughout its growth, the pyramidal saxifrage remains a plant that emphasizes foliage texture and flower arrangement to make an impact rather than any reference to its size. Thus, even without knowing the exact measurement, its aesthetic is clearly established by the form, color, and seasonal characteristics that it displays.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Family


    • Synonyms

      Pyramidal Saxifrage, Whorled Saxifrage, Silver Saxifrage, Strawberry Geranium, Mother of Thousands

    • Common names

      Saxifraga cotyledon var. pyramidalis, Saxifraga borisii, Saxifraga caesia subsp. cotyledon, Saxifraga paniculata var. cotyledon, Saxifraga pyramidalis.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, is not typically considered to be toxic to humans. There is no well-documented evidence suggesting that this plant is poisonous, and it does not appear on toxic plant lists. Consequently, ingestion of Pyramidal Saxifrage is not generally associated with severe symptoms of poisoning or hazardous consequences; however, individual sensitivity can vary, so it is always advisable to be cautious and avoid ingesting plants that are not explicitly intended for human consumption.

    • To pets

      Saxifraga cotyledon, referred to as Pyramidal Saxifrage in common terms, is not known to be toxic to pets either. The plant is not found on commonly referenced lists of poisonous plants for animals such as cats and dogs, and there are no specific symptoms of poisoning associated with it. Despite its non-toxic status, it is still best practice to prevent pets from consuming plants, as individual reactions may vary, and some pets might have sensitivities or allergic reactions.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1 foot 6 inches (45.72 cm)

    • Spread

      1 foot (30.48 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area



  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Ornamental Value: Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, adds aesthetic appeal to gardens with its attractive rosettes of foliage and tall flower spikes.
    • Drought Tolerance: Once established, it can tolerate periods of dryness, making it suitable for rock gardens and drought-prone areas.
    • Low Maintenance: It requires minimal care beyond the initial planting and occasional watering, which makes it ideal for busy gardeners or those looking for low-effort landscaping.
    • Cold Hardy: Being cold-resistant, Pyramidal Saxifrage can survive and thrive in cooler climates and withstand frost.
    • Attracts Pollinators: The flowers of Saxifraga cotyledon attract bees and butterflies, which are essential for pollinating other plants in the garden.
    • Versatile Planting Options: It is suitable for planting in alpine gardens, borders, and containers, offering versatility in garden design.
    • Soil Erosion Control: Its growth habit helps stabilize soil and prevent erosion on slopes or in rocky areas.
    • Seasonal Interest: With its summer flowering period, Pyramidal Saxifrage provides visual interest during a time when many other plants may not be blooming.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Garden Ornamentation: Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, is often used in rock gardens and alpine gardens for its attractive foliage and flowers.
    • Ground Cover: The low-growing habit and dense foliage of Pyramidal Saxifrage make it suitable for use as a ground cover in shaded or semi-shaded areas.
    • Crevice Filler: The plant is ideal for planting in crevices of walls or pathways, where it can provide a lush, decorative appearance.
    • Living Mulch: Pyramidal Saxifrage can act as living mulch under taller plants, helping to retain soil moisture and suppress weeds.
    • Educational Use: Botanical gardens and educational institutions use Pyramidal Saxifrage as an example to teach plant adaptation in rocky environments.
    • Companion Planting: It can be used in companion planting to benefit other plants, adding diversity and attracting beneficial insects to gardens.
    • Dye Production: Historically, some Saxifraga species have been used to produce natural dyes, though this is less common today.
    • Photography Subject: Due to its photogenic quality, Pyramidal Saxifrage is a popular subject for botanical photography and plant identification literature.
    • Art Inspiration: The unique form and structure of Pyramidal Saxifrage flowers can inspire designs in artworks and textiles.
    • Culinary Decoration: While not widely known for culinary uses, the flowers can be used as an edible decoration for salads and desserts, provided they are free from pesticides and other chemicals.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The plant Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The plant Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Perseverance: Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyrenean Saxifrage, often grows in rocky and harsh environments, symbolizing the ability to persevere and thrive in difficult conditions.
    • Fragility and Strength: With its delicate-looking flowers that emerge from robust foliage, Pyrenean Saxifrage embodies the duality of fragility and strength, reminding us that something may appear delicate but can possess great resilience.
    • Protection: In some traditions, alpine plants like the Pyrenean Saxifrage are believed to hold protective properties, suggesting that they can shield against harm and provide a sense of safety.
    • Endurance: The Pyrenean Saxifrage's capacity to exist in alpine climates also makes it a symbol of endurance and the ability to withstand the test of time and elements.

Every two weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every two years
Spring-early summer
Not needed
  • water dropWater

    Pyramidal Saxifrage requires moderate watering, where the soil should be kept slightly moist but not waterlogged. It's best to water the plant thoroughly, allowing the water to drain freely, and then wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering again. On average, this may correspond to watering once every 7 to 10 days, but the exact frequency will depend on environmental conditions. Adjust the schedule to ensure the plant receives approximately one gallon of water every two weeks during the growing season, reducing the amount to half a gallon every two to three weeks in the winter when the plant is dormant.

  • sunLight

    Pyramidal Saxifrage thrives in dappled sunlight to partial shade. The ideal spot for this plant is one where it receives morning light but is protected from the intense heat of the afternoon sun. A location that offers bright, indirect light for most of the day is perfect for maintaining the health and vigor of the plant.

  • thermometerTemperature

    Pyramidal Saxifrage prefers cool to moderate temperatures and generally grows well in temperatures ranging between 60°F and 75°F. It can tolerate a mild frost and survive in temperatures as low as 20°F, but it shouldn't be exposed to prolonged periods of extreme cold or heat above 80°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Pyramidal Saxifrage should be pruned to remove any dead or damaged foliage and to maintain its compact shape. Pruning is best done in the early spring before new growth starts or right after the plant has finished blooming. Deadheading spent flowers will encourage more blooms and help prevent the plant from self-seeding excessively. Pruning every year is generally sufficient for maintaining the plant's health and appearance.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    Pyrenean Saxifrage thrives in a well-draining soil mix with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 7.5. A good recipe would consist of equal parts loam, sand, and peat or compost to ensure proper drainage and fertility. This allows the plant's delicate root system to access the necessary nutrients without becoming waterlogged.

  • plantRepotting

    The Pyrenean Saxifrage should be repotted approximately every 2-3 years to replenish its soil and provide more space for growth. It's best to repot during the spring to minimize stress on the plant.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Pyrenean Saxifrage prefers moderate humidity levels but is quite adaptable to various conditions. As long as the air is not too dry, it will typically thrive, making it suitable for most indoor environments without the need for special humidity arrangements.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Grow Pyrenean Saxifrage in bright, indirect light, well-draining soil.

    • Outdoor

      Place Pyrenean Saxifrage in partial shade, in moist, well-drained soil.

    • Hardiness zone

      3-8 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, typically starts its life cycle when its tiny, dust-like seeds germinate in moist, well-drained soil, usually in the cracks of rocks or in alpine house conditions. After germination, the seedling develops into a rosette of fleshy, spoon-shaped leaves, through which it undergoes vegetative growth. As the plant matures, it may produce offsets that contribute to the spread of the plant. In its second or third year, the Pyramidal Saxifrage sends up a flower stalk that can reach up to 60 cm in height, and it blooms with a pyramid-shaped cluster of small, star-shaped white flowers. After pollination, typically by insects, seeds are produced and dispersed to begin a new cycle. As a perennial, the basal rosette of leaves persists year after year, with the plant potentially flowering annually if conditions are favorable.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time

      Spring-early summer

    • Saxifraga cotyledon, commonly known as Pyramidal Saxifrage, is most effectively propagated by seed. Sowing seeds can take place in fall or as soon as seeds are ripe, spreading them on the surface of a well-draining, gritty seed compost. It's important to provide light, which is necessary for germination, so they should not be covered, but a light dusting of soil can be used to anchor them. Seeds generally germinate in the cold season, provided they are kept in a cold frame or an equivalently cool place. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, they should be carefully pricked out and grown in individual pots until they are strong enough to be planted out in their final positions.