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Bergenia Eroica

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Elephant's ears

Easy to grow ground cover

The large, evergreen, leathery rounded leaves are an impressive sight under trees, in dry shade and alongside paths and patios. In early spring rhubarb-like stems carry branched heads of bell-shaped flowers in a wonderful shade of purple-pink. When grown in a sunny position the bronze-green leaves become mahogany-red in winter, a lovely combination with the flowers as they appear. This low growing perennial makes excellent ground cover with vinca, hedera and pachysandra.

Where?

Can be grown in full sun or shade at the front of beds and borders, under trees, in narrow borders and on walls. It is also useful in pots and containers in shade.

How?

Any well-drained fertile soil. Remove flower heads as they fade and any dead leaves in winter. 

A common name for bergenia is 'pigsqueak' due to the sound when two leaves rub together

Plant details


In depth plant information

Property Value
Plant type Perennial
Flower colour
Foliage colour
Typically available March - July
Season of interest Spring
Flowering April - May
Evergreen Yes
Plant height 10 cm - 50 cm
Plant width 50 cm - 100 cm
Fragrant flowers No
Attracts bees No
Attracts butterflies No
Plant height in 5 years 50 cm
Medicinal No
Hardiness zone (?) H7

Will perform best in these conditions

Property Value
Soil type Chalk, Clay, Sand, Loam
Light exposure Full sun, Part shade
Soil drainage Well drained, Moist
Planting instructions

Water the plant in its pot thoroughly before planting – give it a good soaking. Prepare the area by digging a hole twice the size of the pot. Dig compost into the base of the hole. Remove the pot and position the plant in the hole, with the top of the rootball about level with the surrounding soil. Refill the planting hole with a mixture of garden soil and compost, firming as you go. Water in well and keep well watered during the plant's first year.

Planting site Cottage garden, Informal garden, City garden, Banks and slopes

Typically available

From March to July