Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Bergenia cordifolia

Bergenia cordifolia ,"Elephant's Ears"
This low growing clump forming perennial is one of the recommended plants for difficult gardening spots such as in heavy shade under trees. It grows well across a range of climates and produces the pretty pink flowers from late winter into spring. In cold climates it flowers later and is grown as much for the leaves as the flowers . The leaves often turn a rich burgundy or plum colour over Winter. Big clumps can be divided up over time and it is an easy plant to dig up and replant in a new spot. Though tolerant of dry conditions , stressed plants may look a bit forlorn and are prone to attack by spider mite which causes the underside of the leaves to turn silver and for the plant to lose some vigor.
There are about 8 species of Bergenia found across Central and eastern Asia growing in damp woodlands, rocky areas and open slopes. The cultivars of note which are available are B. 'Abendglut' and the Bressingham cultivars from the UK including 'Ruby', 'Salmon' and 'White'.
2017 update: I am out of stock and may not grow again.

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