elephant's ears (syn. Bergenia Silverlight)
- available to order from late spring
- 2 litre pot
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: any soil
- Rate of growth: average to fast
- Flowering period: March to April
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Commonly known as elephant's ears, because of their large, leathery, oval leaves, bergenias have become fashionable again, thanks both to the number of new cultivars that have become widely available and to their usefulness in the garden. Bergenias are low maintenance, evergreen, will grow in sun or shade and tolerate a wide range of soils, including dry soils and clay.
Tall spikes clothed in pure white flowers that fade to pink appear in spring above large, mid-green leaves. A favourite of plantswoman Beth Chatto, this robust plant is great for edging well-trodden paths or planted in groups as ground cover, or providing a foil for delicate plants.
- Garden care: After flowering remove faded flowerheads. Cut off damaged foliage in spring. Lift and divide large clumps in early spring.