Bergenia 'Wintermärchen' (also called Elephant's ears)
'Wintermärchen' (rough translation: 'winter story')
Evergreen herbaceous perennial with colourful winter foliage. Deep rose flowers in late winter and early spring. Makes a good ground covering plant once it gets going and combines well with many small leaved plants. Looks especially good if planted where the low winter sunlight can shine through the leaves. Drought tolerant. Low maintenance. Flowers are attractive to early foraging wildlife.
Large green leaves in summer and autumn, which turn red during winter and spring. Clusters of pink flowers that stand above the leaves in late winter and early spring.
Habit - upright, spreading, fairly stiff foliage. H: 30cm.
Stems - rich red in winter and spring, becoming mid-green in summer and autumn.
Leaves - oval, slightly serrated, rich red-purple with pink-red veining. Glossy sheen and leathery texture. Leaves are rich red in winter and spring, becoming mid-green in summer and autumn. The underside of the leaf is a brighter red than the upper.
Flowers - clusters of deep rose pink flowers, borne on rounded, straight to slightly lax, stems, held above the leaves and appearing in late winter to early spring.
Grows best in full sun.
Not fussy but mulch around the plant to encourage new growth.
Remove any tatty leaves in spring and either mulch or apply a balanced fertiliser after flowering to promote new growth.
Generally unaffected by pests and diseases.
Lift and divide, every three to four years, in spring or autumn.
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