Bergenia crassifolia

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Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch

Saxifragaceae

Life form: perennial
Usage: economic plant / Usage: ornamental plant

Exposure: sun - Exposure: half shade   3

Moisture: moist

Soil: sandy loam - Soil: gritty loam

Arrangement: basal
Leaves: evergreen

Shape: obovate

Division: simple

    

Shape: funnel-shaped
Fruit: follicle

63D / e981ab 

Inflorescence: cyme

Petals: single
Habit: nodding

Growth form: clump-forming

Taxonomy

Divisio:
Magnoliophyta
Subdivisio:
Magnoliophytina
Classis:
Rosopsida
Subclassis:
Rosidae
Superordo:
Saxifraganae
Ordo:
Saxifragales

Bergenia crassifolia is a perennial.

Naming

Bergenia crassifolia was already described and the name validly published by Carl Linnaeus. It was Karl Fritsch, however, who reclassified it into todays valid botanical systematics .

Taxonomy

Bergenia crassifolia is a species in the genus Bergenia which contains approximately 11 to 18 species and belongs to the family of the Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family).

Characteristics

Bergenia crassifolia - flowers

Growth

The comparatively fast-growing perennials have a clumpforming habit and reach heights of 35 to 45 centimetres. The plants reach a width of 30 to 60 centimetres.

Leaves

Bergenia crassifolia is evergreen. The dark-green, simple leaves are basal. They are obovate with dentate margins and pinnate venation. The leaves are around 20 to 30 centimetres large and have a glabrous surface. They turn an attractive red in autumn.

Flowers and Fruits

Bergenia crassifolia produces cymes of nodding, pink funnel-shaped flowers from April to May. The plants are hermaphroditic.

The perennials produce red follicles in summer.

Root System

The plants form rhizomes.

Distribution

Bergenia crassifolia is native to Sibiria and Mongolia and is naturalized in Austria and France.

Cultivation

The perennials prefer a sunny to half-shady situation on moist soil. The substrate should be sandy-loamy or gritty-loamy soil with a pH between 6,5 and 7,5. They tolerate temperatures down to -40°C (USDA zone 3). The plants are suited for the banks of both artificial and natural standing bodies of water, as well as banks of natural streams.

Classification after Prof. Dr. Sieber

  • open areas
  • woodland borders (soil usually rich in humus)
  • woods (soil usually rich in organic material)

Tolerance of special soil conditions

  • none: drought

Uses

The recommended planting distance is 35 to 40 centimetres, the perennials are best planted in groups of 5 to 10. Suited for cottage gardens, rockeries, rooftop gardens, roof greening and for mixed borders, as well as suited as cemetery plant, groundcover, container plant, cut flowers and as bee pasture.

Maintenance and Propagation

The plants usually need very little maintenance.

  • Cut back after flowering.

Propagate by division.

Cultivars

Pests and Diseases

Mealy excreta on leaves, flowers or fruits indicate in infestation with caterpillars. Crush eggs, handpick and destroy caterpillars. Also apply insecticide or use biological pest control.

Distorted and discoloured leaves indicate an infestation with eelworms. Infected plants usually die and should be destroyed.

Sudden wilting and pale green discolouration indicate a fungal infection (phytophthora). Remove infected plants. Avoid by improving drainage and over-fertilization.

Gnaw marks and slime trails indicate a problem with slugs. Prevent infestation by improving hygiene and by regularly working the soil. In case of an infestation use slug pellets or nematodes to control pest. Handpicking the slug also helps, do this preferably in the evening hours.

Literature

  • Walter Erhardt, Erich Götz, Nils Bödeker, Siegmund Seybold: Der große Zander. Eugen Ulmer KG, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-8001-5406-7. (Ger.)
  • Christoper Brickell (Editor-in-chief): RHS A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants. Third edition. Dorling Kindersley, London 2003, ISBN 0-7513-3738-2.

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