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Bergenia cordifolia (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)
Bergenia cordifolia (photo courtesy of Bailey Nurseries, Inc.)

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Zone
Zones A1-A3, 1-9, 12-24, 30-45
Partial SunNo Sun
Partial, Shade
Regular Water
Moderate

Bergenia cordifolia

Heartleaf Bergenia
Saxifragaceae
Ground covers, Perennials, Flowers

BERGENIA

Native to Himalayas and mountains of China. Thick rootstocks produce rosettes of large, ornamental, glossy green leaves that are evergreen except in coldest areas. In established plantings, foliage clumps may reach 1 1/2 ft. high. Plants bloom in spring, sometimes again in fall, bearing graceful, nodding clusters of small flowers on thick, leafless, 1–1 1/2-ft.-tall stalks; colors include white and shades of pink and red. 

Plants lend a strong textural quality to borders and plantings under trees, make a bold groundcover. Effective with ferns, hellebores, or hostas and as foreground planting for Japanese aucuba, rhododendrons, and Japanese aralia.

Perform best in shade but will tolerate sun in cool-summer climates. Will endure neglect, poor soil, and some drought, but look better with good soil and regular watering, feeding, and grooming. Plant about 1 1/2 ft. apart. Cut back yearly to prevent legginess. Divided crowded clumps and replanted vigorous divisions in late winter or early spring. Control snails and slugs.

Bergenia cordifolia

Native to Siberia and Mongolia, this evergreen perennial grows in clumps 1 1/2 ft. tall. Large, glossy, roundish leaves are heart shaped at base, with wavy, toothed edges. Bears rose or lilac flowers in pendulous clusters that are partially hidden by leaves.

‘Winterglut’ (‘Winter Glow’)

Native to Siberia and Mongolia. Grows in clumps 1 1/2 ft. tall and wide. This variety has bright red flowers and leathery green leaves that turn reddish bronze in fall and winter. Deciduous in coldest zones.

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