Saxifraga stolonifera (Mother of Thousands)
(Unranked): Core eudicots
Species: S. stolonifera
Binomial name: Saxifraga stolonifera
Synonyms: Saxifraga sarmentosa
Common names: Mother of Thousands, Creeping Saxifrage, Strawberry Saxifrage, Creeping Rockfoil, Aaron's beard, Strawberry begonia, Strawberry geranium.
Saxifraga stolonifera is a perennial flowering plant native to China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. It has been introduced to other continents, mainly for use as an ornamental ground cover.
The plant spreads via red threadlike stolons (runners), with plantlets taking root in the vicinity of the mother plant.
It has white wispy 2.5cm five-petaled flowers with distinctive pointed petals and bright yellow ovary on slender red stems 30>60 cm long.
The roundish to heart-shaped gray-green leaves (50 > 100mm) have distinctive silvery gray veins. The leaves undersides are a purplish maroon colour.
The foliage is occasionally used fresh or cooked in Japanese cuisine. It was also used as an herbal remedy in Classical Japan. It contains Quercetin which has been shown to have anti-cancer activity in vitro.
The leaves in the background are not Saxifraga stolonifera. The flowers are on long stalks growing through the visable leaves.
The distinctive leaves of Saxifraga stolonifera.