A-Z of Plants
Bergenias are a highly valuable plant for many gardeners for their richly coloured foliage and stunning, bell-shaped flowers. They are commonly referred to as ‘Elephant’s Ears’ or ‘Pigsqueak’ due to the unusual sound which is made when two leaves are rubbed together.
Most bergenias are evergreen perennial types with leathery, rounded leaves and flowers which bloom in a variety of pinks and purples. They make fantastic ground cover and will suppress almost all weeds.
When cooler weather sets in, the leaves often develop a rich winter colouring in shades of red, bronze and maroon. The colours can vary year on year and depend on the stage of winter, but are always impressive, providing fantastic winter interest.
These East Asian natives have evolved to cope with in a wide spectrum of conditions. They are undemanding and happy to grow in either sun or shade, as long as the soil doesn’t become too dry. Once established Bergenias will look after themselves, requiring very little attention other than an occasional tidy up.
One of our favourite varieties is Bergenia 'Eroica' which has vivid pink flowers, red stems, and dark green foliage which reddens in winter. It is particularly hardy and pest resistant, making it a fantastic choice for almost any spot in your garden.