Bergenias, or pigsqueaks, originated in Siberia and Mongolia, so these perennials are perfectly happy in low temperatures when covered with snow. Thick, rounded evergreen leaves, often a foot long, grow crowns and are edged with red in cold weather. Flowers have spikes of pink or white wax and bloom in drooping clusters.
Propagation: By division or from seed.
Uses: Use bergenia for rock gardens, front edges of borders, and plantings on difficult slopes.
Related species: The winter begonia, Bergenia ciliata, develops large, rounded leaves that are densely hairy on both sides. Bergenia purpurascens has dark greenish-purple leaves.
Scientific name: Bergenia cordifolia