Newest Review: ... they don't mind poor soil either. Some of the more popular varieties are 'Bergenia Abenglut' with magenta flowers and 'B... more
Elephant Ears In Your Garden!
Member Name: Lady Muck
Date: 31/03/02, updated on 31/03/02 (202 review reads)
Advantages: Covers lots of ground
Disadvantages: unattractive leaves hog space once flowers have spent
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.