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Bergenia ciliata ssp ciliata

27th March 2010

I have been meaning to grow this for many years. It has a reputation for being tender and is often seen in cool greenhouses, but the first time I saw it was in a garden in Kent where it seemed to be prospering. Stupidly, I was offered a piece at the time and declined it.
In the end, I bought it from Simon Bond (Thuya Alpines) and then wandered around the garden looking for somewhere to plant it. Currently growing on a steep slope it has survived a very testing winter and increased in size.
The species comes from Nepal, and has the largest leaves seen in the genus (and the hairiest). There are a few selections starting to appear in cultivation. If this one continues to prosper, I will try a some more.
The RHS have just completed a trial of Bergenia and no doubt there will be a report published on their site before long.

18th September 2011

I haven't quite managed the spectacular leaves that the species is known for - there is a little too much competition. When I have time I clear the vegetation around it but it grows back into the space faster than the Bergenia can manage.