Hardy, spring-blooming perennial groundcover
Description: Dense clusters of rose-pink flowers above thick rosettes of heart-shaped, glossy, leathery leaves that turn shades of red and purple in fall and winter; evergreen in warmer climates
Habit: Grows 12 to 18" high and wide; spreads slowly by rhizomes to form a dense groundcover
Culture: Tolerates full sun to full shade and prefers moist but well-drained, humus-rich soils; provide afternoon shade in hot-summer regions
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 3
Introduced to garden cultivation from Siberia in 1779, this species was first classed as a Saxifrage, before being given its own genus, Bergenia. Long grown in rock gardens, Heartleaf Bergenia is also useful when "naturalized on banks, in wild sunny parts of the pleasure ground, or by wood walks…near cascades, or on rough rock or root work," according to William Robinson in The English Flower Garden (1883). Robinson also noted, “No plant is handsomer or more imposing when in flower, or affords a greater leaf-beauty in autumn and winter.” This plant, whose thick leaves squeak when rubbed, is not attractive to deer or rabbits.
Heartleaf Bergenia; Pigsqueak (Bergenia cordifolia) arrives in a 1 quart pot.