Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.


saxifrage (săkˈsĭfrĭj), common name for several members of the Saxifragaceae, a family of widely varying herbs, shrubs, and small trees of cosmopolitan distribution. They are found especially in north temperate zones and include many arctic and alpine species. Most American species are native to the West. The true saxifrages (genus Saxifraga and some species of other genera), also called rockfoils, comprise a large group of low rock plants including several species cultivated as rock-garden and border plants—e.g., the strawberry geranium (S. sarmentosa) native to E Asia, which propagates by runners like the strawberry. Among American wildflowers are the Eastern early saxifrage (S. virginiensis) and a Western species called umbrella plant (S. peltata). The genus also includes the arctic and alpine S. oppositifolia, one of the northernmost (found on Ellesmere Island, for instance) of flowering plants. In the old doctrine of botanical naming, the saxifrage [Lat.,=rock-breaker], because of its apparent ability to split rocks in rooting, was prescribed medicinally for calculous formations, such as gallstones. Other American wildflowers of the family include the miterwort, or bishop's cap (genus Mitella), named for its cap-shaped fruit capsule; the false miterwort, or foamflower (Tiarella); the grass-of-Parnassus (Parnassia palustris) of swamps and moist meadowlands; and the alumroot (genus Heuchera). H. sanguinea, called coral-bells, is a delicate ornamental with bright red flowers, native to New Mexico and Arizona. The other wildflowers of this group grow chiefly in rich woodland areas of the Northeast and the far West. The mock orange, or syringa, is a genus (Philadelphus) of deciduous shrubs native to Eurasia and North America. It is easily cultivated and has white blossoms generally similar to orange blossoms. One of the most popular fragrant species is the common, or sweet, mock orange (P. coronarius). Syringa [New Lat., from Gr.,=pipe], an early name for mock orange, is now the scientific name for the unrelated lilac; both bushes are also sometimes called pipe tree. Among other shrubs of the saxifrage family cultivated as ornamentals are the deutzia, any species of the Asian genus Deutzia; and the hydrangea, American and Asian plants of the genus Hydrangea with flat-topped clusters of white, pink, or blue flowers. (The blue flowers are sometimes obtained by putting alum or iron in the soil.) Of minor economic importance is the genus Ribes, a group of berry-bearing shrubs, yielding the gooseberry and the currant, to name a few. Some botanists divide the family into three smaller families but all share common features. The Saxifragaceae are classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Rosales.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a genus of shrubs of the family Saxifragaceae. The leaves are usually deciduous, opposite, and simple. The blossoms are white or lilac pink; they are gathered in corymbs, racemes, or panicles and rarely occur singly. The calyx and corolla have five segments, and there are ten to 15 stamens. The fruit is a spherical pod with many seeds.

There are 56 species of Deutzia in East and Southeast Asia and North America (Mexico). In the USSR (the Far East) there are two wild species— Deutzia parviflora (D. amurensis) and D. glabrata. D. gracilis and other species have been introduced as ornamental plants.


Zaikonnikova, T. I. Deitsiidekorativnye kustarniki. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


any saxifragaceous shrub of the genus Deutzia: cultivated for their clusters of white or pink spring-blooming flowers
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
"Flower of Deutzia", a specific noun, corresponds to "grasses of summer" non-specific; "Kanefusa" (16), a proper noun of the aged warrior who fought there centuries before at the place where Basho found himself, corresponds to "the warriors" non-specific, and "white hairs" of the old warrior corresponds to the abstract philosophical expression of "traces of their dreams".
For shrubs that flower later in the season and have put on growth this year, such as Philadelphus and deutzias, it is necessary to take extra care pruning and be more selective.
The shrub roses, for example, are just coming in to bloom, as are the next range of clematis together with deutzia and cotoneasters, and by jingo, the bees are certainly working over the flowers of the last named.
However, cuttings of shrubs, such as cornus, deutzia and philadephus, or of clematis, are best collected in the morning while fully charged with moisture and 'struck' (roots formed), and placed under a plastic bag or in a propagator in the shade.
Leveille & Vaniot * Deutzia setchuenensis Franchet * Saxifraga stolonifera Curtis 8 Vitaceac Parthenocissus dalzielii Gagnepain 9 P.
PELAW GRANGE SUNDAY 12.00 (435m): Headford Brandy, Balmoral Bradley, Well Now, Deutzia Belle, Billys Aim (M), Lookingfor Glory (W).
Prune early-flowering shrubs such as lilac, deutzia and forsythia.
This week you will get one free Deutzia Strawberry Fields plant when you buy two for PS9.98.
Suitable candidates include roses, deutzia, lilac and viburnum.
Prune mature, deciduous shrubs including philadelphus, deutzia and kolkwitzia, once they have finished flowering.
A boat full of shore juniper or deutzia could stand in front of a beach house.