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Bergenia crassifolia (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)
Bergenia crassifolia (photo courtesy of Denver Botanic Gardens)

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

Bergenia crassifolia

Winter-Blooming 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 crassifolia

Native to Siberia and Mongolia. Grows in clumps to 1 1/2 ft. tall and wide. Dark green leaves to 8 in. or more across, with wavy, sparsely toothed edges. Rose, lilac, or purple flowers in dense clusters on erect stems that stand well above leaves. Blooms between midwinter and early spring, depending on climate. Deciduous in coldest part of its range; evergreen elsewhere.

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