The ubiquitous Bergenia

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Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15
The ubiquitous Bergenia

Although many people, myself included, seem to think Bergenia is coarse plants some of them are rather nice. Therefore I have several clumps of them and they tolerate all kind of weather. The best is that slugs detest the plants.

As usual have I forgotten the cultivar's name but I think it is a B. cordifolia-type. Other types have not started to bloom yet.

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Mine are showing buds but will not bloom for a while yet.

I have been growing Bergenia strachyi for many years now, but without a single bloom!  What's the secret to this one?  I find that it is somewhat herbaceous in this climate, rather than completely evergreen, as with B. cordifolia.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
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Skulski wrote:

Mine are showing buds but will not bloom for a while yet.

I have been growing Bergenia strachyi for many years now, but without a single bloom!  What's the secret to this one?  I find that it is somewhat herbaceous in this climate, rather than completely evergreen, as with B. cordifolia.

I have never experienced that Bergenias won't flower except in heavy shade, but maybe the buds are damaged by something?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

No buds even!  They are growing in pretty much the same conditions as my other bergenias, which are irrepressible.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Then I have no idea at all - other than trying to move it.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

I don't grow any Bergenia myself but we have a few at the BG...blooming now is B. ciliata (a deciduous type) and Bressingham Salmon.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Nice blooming, Todd!
I have B. ciliatum grown from seed but they have been very slow this spring and the buds are damaged by slugs and cold weather this year. Often they stay green all winter with huge leaves.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Kelaidis
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Joined: 2010-02-03

Bergenia are not so ubiquitous in Colorado as they are in the Pacific Northwest or martime Eastern North America. But with a little shade and irrigation they grow well here too: the best for us seems to be B. stracheyi, which I saw growing in vast swaths in Pakistan in 2001 (apparently not palatable to the even more ubiquitous herbivores which pretty much elminated everything else...except for the similarly unpalatable Polygonum capitatum, which also formed vast monocultures there). My first picture below is of our finest clump of Bergenia crassifolia,  now 30 years in the spreading at the Rock Alpine Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens. Most years the flowers are frost burned, but this miraculous spring (although we do have an inch or two of snow today, May 12!) was so mild it bloomed perfectly! The second picture is a closeup of Bergenia stracheyi,  in its white form, in my home garden. This miniature is a must, spreading quickly and widely with its trim wonderful leaves that turn a gorgeous russet and orange in the autumn. I cannot put my hands on my picture of Bergenia delavayi, with particularly wonderful dark pink flowers and nodding habit and not too big for the rock garden either...yes, I do love these pigsqueaks, as a friend named them for the endearing sound their leaves make if you rub them just right.

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Very nice your pigsqueaks are!
Bergenia is one of the genuses grown in Norway for generations but they are not native here. They are often found in rocky areas of homesteads and old gardens.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

I always wondered where the name 'pigsqueak' came from...I must give it a try!

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

It comes from the sound made when rubbing the rubbery leaf hard between your fingers, Todd... or so I've read, not that I've done it.

Edit:  Oops, I see that this was already noted above.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

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