Youth-On-Age – Tolmiea menziesii

Saxifrage Family – Saxifragaceae

Actual flower size: 3/4 inch across

Actual flower size: 3/4 inch across

Youth-On-Age is also called Piggy Back or Pig-a-back Plant.

Plant Description: Youth-on-Age is a 12 to 30 inches tall perennial. The flowering stems are hairy with a few smaller stem leaves and a raceme of flowers spaced along the top half. The basal leaves are long-petioled, hairy, heart-shaped, shallowly-lobed with pointy tips, 2 inches long, with short bristles on top.

Flower Description: The flowers is 3/4 inch long. The 5 sepals are fused into a greenish purple tube which is split almost to the base on the underside. There are 5 small lobes, 4 thread-like, 1/2 inch long, brownish purple petals, and 3 stamens (2 long and 1 short).

Ecology: Youth-on-Age grows along stream banks and in wet areas in the woods at low to middle elevations, sometimes forming large patches.

Note: In the fall, small buds at the base of mature leaves develop into a little plantlets growing on top of the older leaves, giving the plant its common names. When the old leaves wither, these plantlets have a chance to fall to the ground and root.