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Tufted Saxifrage

Saxifraga cespitosa

small flowers growing in between rocks

The Tufted Saxifrage population in Wales grows on just a couple of boulders where it is extremely threatened by spring droughts and lack of winter snow cover.

Distribution

Just 2 small boulders at one site in Wales and a number of sites in Scotland.

Habitat

Cliff ledges and boulders on calcium rich rocks in Eryri and the Scottish Highlands

Best time to see

This species flowers from May through to early June however the inaccessibility of its sites makes it a very difficult species to see in the wild.

Tufted saxifrage plant

Did you know…

Tufted Saxifrage was first discovered in the wild in Wales in 1796 but wasn’t seen between the late 1800’s and the 1950’s when it was rediscovered by Evan Roberts (the first warden of Cwm Idwal National Nature Reserve).

In the 1970’s its population was bolstered by a conservation reintroduction and it saw a population high in the 1980’s. Since then it has seen a steady decline and the Welsh population of Tufted Saxifrage now (2023) numbers just seven plants in the wild.

Through the Tlysau Mynydd Eryri Project (part of Natur am Byth!) we are successfully cultivating Welsh Tufted Saxifrage plants with a plan to enable them to move higher up the mountains of Eryri to sites where they will see snow for longer in the winter.

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