The ubiquitous Bergenia

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

The flowers add to the whole scene during tulip time around here.  My pix of the old patch of bergenia are buried somewhere in my photo files, but here's a more recent acquisition that's been very slowly spreading:
 

And a close-up of a named cultivar, 'Eroica':

Tough and beautiful with year-round interest provided by the evergreen leaves... what more could one want?

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

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Ooh, nice one, such a deep color, I like it.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Love that 'Eroica', especially!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Lori wrote:

Did you stratify the seeds, say by putting pots outside in fall or by stratifying indoors, or did they germinate under warm conditions?  Yes, I see the fringe now that I click on your photo.

I got the seed about Xmas time and sowed at once without doing anything to the seeds. I have a room with artificial light in the basement but no heating except in very cold days (which are rare) and the temperature is about 16-18C I think. They germinated rather quickly as I remember (a couple of weeks or a month - I do not write down details). (If no germination occur within a month or two I bring all the pots that I believe need stratification outside.)

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

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Schier wrote:

Hoy, the Bergenia ciliata with the fringe on the leaf is a good looking plant... I have had the Bergenia cordifolia and purpurascens for years and they are always welcome in the garden. They do like a bit of water now and then, and last year when there was plenty of rain they bloomed like crazy.  In the dry years, a bit pathetic sometimes.  For me they're a good old stand-by for a lot of spots. 

Yes I like ciliata! And it develops much better in a moist site than a drier one.

Two species and the hybrid between them (B. crassifolia and B. cordifolia) have been commonly planted here from "old times". You find them in very old gardens and also on abandoned homesteads. Now you can find several new species and hybrids and I must say that some of the new hybrids (like 'Eroica') are much better than their parents! Some of the old stands you can find on rather dry sites  but usually with their roots down a deep crevice.

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

maggiepie
maggiepie's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2009-12-15

I had no idea there were so many nice Bergenia ( what's the plural?) out there.
Lori, how much sun do yours get?

Helen,
New Brunswick , Canada
zone 4b

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

Hi, Helen!  Depending on where they're planted, my bergenias get almost full sun to mostly shade.  (I only have an old clump, and the two newer plants shown, plus two yet-to-ever-bloom B. stracheyi, which are also in sun.)

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

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

Ah ha, I have wondered for a long time how B. purpurascens differs from B. cordifolia, and I finally found it:
http://plantsoftibet.lifedesks.org/pages/45199

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Interesting, since Pavelka described stracheyi as 15-30cm, and purpurascens as similar but smaller, whereas the site Lori gives mentions purpurascens as 13-50cm... mind you Pavelka's collection was 4600m, near the upper limit listed of 4800 m, so I guess if those plants were at the lower end of 13cm, they'd be smaller than the 15cm smallest stracheyi!....

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Kelaidis
Kelaidis's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-02-03

Finally got back to the Forum: I have been in Europe for a few weeks, and spring is making inroads (between snowstorms: second snowiest February in our Denver history!): there are 15 or more species blooming from Adonis to cylamen, the first reticulatas and of course galanthus, hellebores and crocuses galore)...but no Bergenias yet: I do have some old pix that I think fit into this thread:

1) Bergenia "altaica" I photographed on the Austrian road, in Kazakhstan (near the border with China): I believe it is very close if not synonymous with B. cordifolia. An abundant plant on shady slopes along with Corydalis nobilis and Aquilegia sibirica and Clematis sibirica.
2) Our Bergenia ciliata in bloom: notice, no leaves (it is deciduous). Easily one of the loveliest of the genus. I have seen this in many public gardens in Britain: every form seems different. If it were only evergreen!
3-4) Two pix of the same colony of Bergenia cordifolia at the Rock Alpine Garden at Denver Botanic Gardens: this blooms quite early and invariably is turned black by a hard frost in late March or early April: still worth growing for that glorious pink flush: I am intrigued how different the same plant looks in different lights (captured by these two very different pix.)
5-6) Bergenia crassifolia blooms a bit later and usually doesn't get frosted as much (even though it comes from further south in Eurasia) It can get amazingly tall. The fall foliage of all Bergenia is wonderful, and this one is especially fine.
7) Bergenia delavayi is quite petite and a good doer for me: this is in my home garden
8) this is a closeup of Bergenia stracheyi in its miniature white form I obtained 32 years ago from England.

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.

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