The name Bergenia might provoke a little shudder in some people, so I hope my photograph has instantly caught your attention, because this one is about as far as one can get from the murky pinky purple offerings most commonly seen in spring.
B emeiensis is a compact, hardy, evergreen plant; a species with pure white, elegant flowers on pinkish stems, above shiny mid green leaves that are more oval than wide. It does not need any special attention; indeed mine is on the edge of a raised bed and could be deemed to be in too dry a spot for a plant that comes from damp woodland.
While I am on the subject of Bergenias, I must mention B ciliata, another favourite of mine that has very low growing palest pink flowers above gnarled bare stems at this time of year. However, as the season progresses, its fantastic, vast, hairy leaves take centre stage and make a real architectural statement, especially on the corner of a bed where its growth need not be restricted.
Back to Bergenia emeiensis … this is not a plant that is commonly available and that’s because it was only relatively recently introduced, in the 1980s. However, don’t let that put you off, you could always grow it from seed! Available from Jelitto Perennial Seed whose germination rates are outstanding.