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Ideal ground cover plant. Bergenia is a genus of ten species of flowering plants in the family Saxifragaceae, native to central Asia, from Afghanistan to China and the Himalaya. They are herbaceous perennial plants with a spirally arranged rosette of leaves 6-35 cm long and 4-15 cm broad, and pink flowers produced in a cyme.

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      31.03.2002 01:28
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      Bergenias are evergreen perennials that are relatives of the delicate saxifrage, though you wouldn't know it to look at their huge rounded, veiny leathery leaves that are reminiscent of elephant's ears, hence their common name. Because of the large size of their leaves they can cover a good amount of ground fairly quickly and will provide you with spikes of flowers in spring in many colours ranging from magenta, red, lavender, to pink and white. They are fully hardy so will tolerate frost, and if it's well-drained they don't mind poor soil either. Some of the more popular varieties are 'Bergenia Abenglut' with magenta flowers and 'Bergenia Crassifolia' with lavender pink flowers. Sounds a fantastic garden plant you might think? Well yes, if you don't mind huge flabby leaves the size of elephant ears lying about your garden doing nothing once their modest flowers have spent, taking up lots of space that you could plant many colourful annuals in, for example. If you find this plant pleasing on the eye then check out the varieties I have mentioned, but personally I give this space-hog a miss.

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        23.06.2001 22:28

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        Bergenia is a great ground cover plant for a herbaceous border.It thrives under trees and shrubs,and will spread rapidly when conditions are good it also provides colour nearly all year round.The large leaves are quite leathery and bright green turning red in the Autumn,flower heads rise to about one and a half feet Hyacinth like spikes bearing white,pink.red or purple bell-shaped flowers.It will grow in all types of soils, including wet peats and dry chalks.When the plants get large and overcrowded, seperate the clumps in Autumn spacing about one foot apart.Any well drained soil will do it thrives in sun or partial shade.Amongst the best hybrids are {Ballawley} {Silberlicht} and {Sunningdale}.

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