Meadow saxifrage; White flowers on green roofs

April is the month when most green roofs start to show their true colours.  First to bloom on many uk green roofs is the pretty native species, meadow saxifrage.

Meadow saxifrage amongst sedum plants


Meadow saxifrage, scientific name Saxifraga granulata, is well suited to extensive green roofs.

The natural habitat of Meadow saxifrage is rapidly disappearing.  This plant likes ancient meadows but seems to thrive equally well on living roofs.  It seems to enjoy being relatively undisturbed and is quite happy to grow in a shallow layer of well drained growing medium.   It would probably also do well in an alpine bed or a rockery at ground level.

What does Meadow Saxifrage look like?

The leaves are fleshy and have a pretty, rounded shape.  They disappear for most of the winter and appear again in spring.

Sometimes, when a sedum roof is installed, meadow saxifrage is dormant and so when the leaves start to appear they can be mistaken for weeds.

Fear not, For the leaves are soon followed by slim stems and delicate white flowers. There can be up to 12 flowers on one stem.

close-up of meadow saxifrage flower

Flowering stems can reach up to 50 cm tall but tend to be shorter than that on a roof.  The main flush of flowers is in April and May but they can sometimes be seen as late as June.

On a green roof created using Enviromat sedum matting, meadow saxifrage flowers are usually followed by the pinky- white blooms of sedum album.


You may also like:

photos of living roofs in our green roof gallery

How to make a green roof with Enviromat sedum matting

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