Evergreen low-growing perennial with coarse leathery foliage turning deep maroon-red in winter, and clusters of deep-magenta flowers in spring. Tolerant of wide range of conditions including dry shade but winter leaf colour best in full sun. Goes well with snowdrops against the crimson foliage, golden yellow plants such as Carex Evergold, Cornus Flaviramea, as in the Savill Garden. Possibly the same as B. ‘Eroica’, according to Claire Austin.
H x S: 0.4m x 0.4m
Aspect and soil: best in fertile, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade.
Use: as ground cover on the edge of a woodland or underplanting deciduous shrubs. Essential in the winter garden – assuming you have no fundamental objection to Bergenia (if so, remember Gertude Jekyll was a huge fan).
Care: remove spent flowers in late spring, and tidy up dead foliage. Divide crowded plants in the spring. Mulch in autumn or spring.
Wildlife: large leaves are a shelter for slugs, so debatable, but flowers are visited by insects.