Bergenia is a top shady, evergreen ground cover that requires very little to no maintenance. It will even grow well in pots, not to mention embankments, dry or moist (but not soggy) shade gardens, even exposed areas with poor soils. The large leaves are around 20cm long.
Bergenia may have fallen out of fashion but we think they have been underutilised and need to make a comeback. Especially as they make a good foil for the fading foliage of spring bulbs, and the thick, clumping foliage is a fantastic weed suppressant.
The thick, leathery foliage is commonly known as Elephant Ears. The leaves turn bronze in winter as the weather cools.
The pink blooms open spring to summer on green and red stems. In more mild climates they will even flower as early as winter. The flowers are rosy pink and last well in a vase.
Plant Bergenia in any well drained soil in a full sun to part shade position. Mulch in autumn and that is about it! You can remove spent flowers and leaves to tidy in spring but they need nary more care than that.
The botanical name of Bergenia was given to honour German botanist and Doctor, Karl August von Bergen (1704-1759).
L Win to Sum
Cool to Mediterranean
Full Sun to Semi Shade