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Bergenia ‘Lunar Glow’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries, Inc.)
Bergenia ‘Lunar Glow’ (photo courtesy of Terra Nova 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 hybrids

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 hybrids

Many hybrids of English or German origin include ‘Abendglut’ (‘Evening Glow’), with dark red flowers and dark reddish leaves with crimped edges; ‘Herbstblute’ (‘Autumn Glory’), with leaves that turn purplish in fall, when it also tends to rebloom; and ‘Silberlicht’ (‘Silver Light’), with large, slightly toothed leaves and white blossoms.

‘Solar Flare’ is a variegated mutation of ‘Herbstblute’ with new leaves splashed with cream, green, and pink, maturing to solid green. Rosy pink blooms. Very showy.

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