Saxifraga is a large group of hardy perennial plants. Only a few are annuals or biennials. They are mostly natives of North and South Temperate and Arctic regions. The name is an old Latin name derived from saxum, a rock and frangor, to break; the plant was thought to break stones in the bladder. Rockfoil is a common name given to Saxifrages. The Saxifrages are a varied group of plants and botanists have divided them into a number of sections. The Kabschia, the Engleria and the Porphyrion sections are the earliest kinds; they bloom in January and February. The others are Dactyloides, Euaizoonia, Diptera, Trachyphyllum, Hirculus and Cymbalaria.. A few of these kinds do best if they're planted in a deep, narrow crevice in a rock.
Shown here are some saxifrages from the French Pyrenee regions.