Bergenia crassifolia

Frequent contributor beranekp@Flickr shares today’s image, taken in Prague in late April of 2006. Thank you!

This herbaceous perennial (to 30cm / 1 ft. tall) is widely used in cultivation, and accordingly has a list of common names; Wikipedia uses badan, Siberian tea, Mongolian tea, leather bergenia, winter-blooming bergenia, heartleaf bergenia, elephant’s ears or elephant-ears, but even that isn’t comprehensive. The UC Davis Arboretum, for example, uses pigsqueak.

Paghat has a gardener’s perspective on Bergenia crassifolia, while the Plants for a Future Database contains some additional information and photographs: Bergenia crassifolia.

The Flora of China account for Bergenia crassifolia reports it being present in Xinjiang, northern Mongolia, Russia, and North Korea. The latter is puzzling, as it would mean the North Korean populations are disjunct by over 2000km from the rest of the range of the species.

Bergenia crassifolia

8 responses to “Bergenia crassifolia”

  1. Fred patient

    How does this plant differ from Bergenia cordifolia we grew this in England as a useful foreground plant
    The problem was they were a haven for every snail and slug in the garden!!!!

  2. Ronald Rabideau

    I collected wild seed from this species in the Altai Mountains of Russia in 2007. It formed colonies under Rhododendron ledebourii(dauricum) on open hillsides. Found one plant colony(clone) with inflorescences almost a meter high but that was unusual. Got seed from that one but so far seedlings have bloomed of normal height, about a foot. Plants are available for sale. Have a couple variegated seedlings I’m watching.

  3. Alice Dionne

    You might want to check out the link to Paghat’s description. It covers the differences between the two quite nicely.

  4. Jeremy Smith

    Known to me as “London Pride”. Here’s the song composed & sung by Noel Coward. When I was young (a long time ago) this plant & the plane trees were about the only things could survive the coal-fire fog 🙂

  5. IrmainSweden

    To Jenny. I am more familiar with the name London Pride beeing attached to Saxifraga x umbrosa and that also seems to be the flowers in the youtubeclip. See

  6. Jeremy Smith

    I can’t argue with that, but then I can’t argue with my Mother-in-law who lived in a flat in S.E. London most of her life – she is gone now. Rightly or wrongly it was a Bergenia sp. that was London Pride to her. Of course, she did not have benefit of much education or familiarity with plants. I am quite happy to accept the correction on her behalf – posthumously. Personally, I will continue to try & use botanical names, since common names are very confusing in some cases.

  7. IrmainSweden

    Jeremy (sorry for the mixup of your name) Yes it is sometimes so confusing with the common names. I can understand that your mother-in-law considered this flower a flower of pride and almos indestrucktable. We had at my childhood home a big patch of Bergenias and they survived all kinds of “illtreatment” from growing over the bare stone and beeing covered with huge heaps of snow in winter. Come late April the dusky pink flowerstems rose up again.

  8. elizabeth a airhart

    a rose by any other name is still a rose
    fine close up of a lovely flower thank you

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