Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium) Identification

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage / All Year / Edible

Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage is quite a mouthful, especially for such a small plant, often found in damp places it provides a surprising crunch to salads.

Scientific Name:

Chrysosplenium oppositifolium



Also known as:

Creeping Jenny, buttered eggs


Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain. Damp boggy areas, wet woodlands and next to streams.


OLGS (love a good acronym) is a PERENNIAL growing in dense patches up to 12cm tall and up to several meters across

Identifying Features of Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage :


The small (1-3cm), rounded leaves are arranged in clear pairs, and are an almost neon shade of acid green. They have a few broad, bluntly pointed lobes and are slightly hairy. It forms dense patches, the bright yellow-green catches the eye like splashes of gold in shaded damp areas. 


The flowers are tiny (2-4mm across). They don’t have any petals, just 8 little golden yellow stamens and 4 sepals set against the rounded leaves. They add an extra yellow glow to the bright green mats between March and April

Phil Sellens from East Sussex, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
OLGS Photo by Hazel Mayow


The stems are slightly hairy and square cross-sectioned

Uses of Opposite-leaved Golden Saxifrage


Leaves and flowers – raw or cooked. They are a highly rates addition to salads or can be added to a stir fry, and have a slightly peppery taste. Wash them well before use to get rid of any soil or dirty water that may have slashed on during harvesting. 


It was believed in Russia to help with Spleen issues, and possibly also to have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. However, there is no proven effectiveness in modern medicine. High in vitamins. 

Known hazards

None known.


 March to June 

Potential lookalikes

The closely related but rarer Alternate-leaved Golden Saxifrage (Chrysosplenium alternifolium) is less common, and has longer stalks with rounder leaves that are arranged alternately instead of in pairs. It also has larger flowers. 

Opposite leaved (left) and alternate leaved (right) golden saxifrage Photo by BerndH  CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=118395


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