Bergenia, the Perennial with the Patent Leather Leaves
July 5, 2009
Allan in Bergenia, Heuchera Hercules, Perennial Plants, companion plant, glossy foliage, part shade plant, perennial

Plant green leather and watch what it does to the texture story in the garden.Bergenia cordifolia, is a leathery-leaved, part-shade perennial that prefers moist soil. An elegant glossy leafed plant, it serves as a great foil for the silver-freckled foliage of Pulmonaria, feathery Astilbe, multi-green Hosta or the enchanting Heuchera Hercules. Plant several of these perennials together in a shade garden to create a symphony of textures..

In early spring, Bergenia produces purple, pink or white flowers. It is disappointing that the visual impact of this perennial is not evident for the first few years, especially if one purchases a small-sized plant. Perhaps that is why it is not used more widely. It’s worth being patient because a mature clump of Bergenia can produce a rich, almost iridescent, flower bouquet, when very little else is blooming in the garden. In autumn, its evergreen leaves may turn bronze or red, adding its own drama to the changing of the leaves. Bergenia is hardy in zones 4 to 9. Depending on the cultivar one chooses, it will grow from 8 to 24 inches in height, and from 1 to 2 feet wide.

Article originally appeared on Garden Design, Montreal, Perennial Flower Gardens, Gardening Tips, Gardening Advice, Gardening Book Reviews (
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