Botanical Name: Bergenia cordifolia
Common Name: Heartleaf Bergenia  
Plant photo of: Bergenia cordifolia
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Water Saving Tip:

Change spray sprinklers to low-flow bubbler or drip systems. Shrubs and trees are ideal candidates for this type of irrigation because the water is applied directly to the root zones.

  • Anatomy

  • Culture

  • Design

Plant Type

Broadleaf Evergreen, Ground cover, Perennial


Height Range



Flower Color

Lavender, Pink, Purple


Flower Season



Leaf Color

Bronze, Green


Bark Color



Fruit Color



Fruit Season



Half, Shade





Growth Rate

Moderate, Slow


Soil Type

Clay, Loam, Rocky, Unparticular


Soil Condition

Average, Rich, Poor, Well-drained


Soil pH

Neutral, Basic


Adverse Factors


Design Styles

English Cottage, Formal, Japanese, Meadow, Mediterranean, Ranch, Seascape, Tropical, Water Garden, Woodland


Accenting Features

Showy Flowers, Unusual Foliage


Seasonal Interest

Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall


Location Uses

Entry, Perennial Border, Shrub Border, Foundation, Parking Strip, Walkways


Special Uses

Cut Flowers, Mass Planting, Small Spaces


Attracts Wildlife


Information by: Stephanie Duer
Photographer: Linda Engstrom, JJ Neilso
  • Description

  • Notes

Bergenia has evergreen, round, heart-shaped, glossy, thick leaves, frequently with fine toothed edges. The leaves are basically stemless, growing off of a shallow rhizome, so, though the leaves are large, the plant has a fairly low profile. Some cultivars have leaves that turn reddish in winter. It is this juxtaposition of low-growing and big-leaf that makes bergenia so a fine addition to the shade border. Flowers bloom in spring, in a range of pinks, lavenders, and plums. Grows about 12 to 16" tall and 12 to 18" wide.
Grow in average to loamy well-drained soil in part to full shade. Though the leaves are evergreen, they can come out of winter a bit tattered so cut them off in spring as new growth emerges. Remove spent flower stalks. Bergenia is excellent in dry to medium dry shady areas, and pairs well with Corydalis, Alchemilla, Columbine, and the shadier geraniums.