I was going to leave my response to Linda’s challenge until later in the week but have decided to do it now because folks have been asking about this picture posted last night. My mood has taken a pronounced downward swing so posting it later might not happen.
It is a Saxifrage from the Silver Saxifrages section of the genus (Ligulatae). The ‘Frost’ is actually lime (calcium carbonate) secreted by pores on the leaf edges, which gives the plant the overall ‘silver’ look. It probably serves several functions:
- It gives the plant a means of disposing of lime taken up from the limestone crevices they normally grow in.
- It may make the leaves unpalatable for grazing beasties.
- It reflects a lot of light and these plants grow high in the mountains where light intensity is especially high.
Perhaps surprisingly for such specialised plants they are amongst the easiest alpine plants to grow in the garden where they make a lovely mound of silvery foliage. They do especially well in our garden because we are on a ridge of limestone rubble.
The significance to me is that our good friend Beryl Bland literally wrote the book on Silver Saxifrages and this plant came to us as a cutting from her UK National Collection. You can read more in the pdf here: