Flora of Northern Ireland
Saxifraga oppositifolia
© Stan Beesley
Saxifraga oppositifolia
© Paul Hackney
Saxifraga oppositifolia
(Map updated: March 2008)
 

This is one of Northern Ireland's rarest plants, confined entirely to the high mountain cliffs of Binevenagh, where it grows with two other rare arctic-alpines: mountain avens and moss campion. It is a low-growing herbaceous perennial with purple flowers, about half an inch across, and tiny leaves.

Today, arctic-alpines are species found on high mountains in Europe, or at high latitudes. Their populations in Ireland are remnants of the flora of an earlier climatic period following the end of the last ice-age, when plants now found in Scandinavia or in the Alps were more important members of the vegetation.

Other examples of plants of this kind are alpine saw-wort and yellow saxifrage.

All names: Saxifraga oppositifolia L.