This is the most drought-tolerant bergenia I’ve found and the only one that does well in Texas heat. The large, hairy, critter-resistant leaves do not resemble other members of this genus; they look more like hairy plates or giant African violet leaves—hence, it’s common name. Mature plants will send up 10-inch-long stems of white to pale pink flowers from spring to early summer, but the real reason to grow this plant is its remarkable foliage.
In cooler regions, hairy bergenia grows not only in the shade but also in full sun. It isn’t particular about soil type or pH. Divide plants every three to five years to keep them vigorous. -Jimmy Turner, Perennials for dry shade, Fine Gardening issue #133
Noteworthy CharacteristicsHairy, pest-resistant leaves and spectacular spring and early-summer color.
PropagationDivide every three to five years.
- Genus : Bergenia
- Plant Height : 10 to 15 feet
- Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8
- Tolerance : Deer Tolerant
- Moisture : Dry
- Bloom Time : Early Summer, Spring
- Maintenance : Low
- Growth Rate : Moderate
- Light : Partial Shade
- Plant Type : Perennials
- Flower Color : Pink
- Foliage Color : Purple/Burgundy
- Uses : Shade
- Characteristics : Showy Foliage
- Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
Plant Characteristics are only available to Fine Gardening members
Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to our complete plant guide as well as our entire collection of articles and videos.