Hairy Bergenia, Pigsqueak
Panicles of pink buds open to a one-inch blush pink flower above emerging foliage. As flowers mature they turn rose pink.
Foliage interest – color/texture
Flowers bloom in early spring as foliage is just emerging. By June foliage has matured and is the best feature of the plant. Leaves can be 6-8 inches in diameter and are reminiscent of African Violets. Dark green, hairy foliage remains lovely all summer and gives great texture to the garden border. In the fall the foliage declines and remains green.
Habit and growth rate observations
Bergenia ciliata forms a mounded clump 8 inches tall and ranging in spread from 12-20 inches wide; not fast growing. Correct siting is very important for the foliage to look its best; avoid dry or excessively moist locations.
Site preference – soil & light
Bergenia ciliata likes part sun to shade and average to moist soils and will tolerate clay soils.
Successes and possible drawbacks – how to overcome them
Flowers aren’t reliable from year to year depending on cold and late freezes that may inhibit bloom in early spring. Best success will be in light shade on a moist site where it is not allowed to dry out; yet not overly wet. Can attract deer or rabbit browsing although listed as being critter resistant. Foliage was stunted in growth during years when there was excessive moisture or drought. Placed in too much sun foliage will rust out in summer.
Astilbe, Hosta, Ajuga ‘Chocolate Chip’, Cimicifuga, Aruncus aethusifolius or Aruncus dioicus
Parting SHOT – the overall evaluation results were Good
Foliage is the highlight of this plant and its quality texture performs when well-sited. Fuzzy oversized leaves are interesting all summer. The early spring flower, although not dependable, is attractive when it appears. Siting is very important for the success of this plant.