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Useful Temperate Plants

Bergenia crassifolia

(L.) Fritsch

Saxifragaceae

+ Synonyms

Bergenia biflora Moench

Bergenia bifolia Moench

Bergenia cordifolia (Haw.) Sternb.

Bergenia coreana Nakai

Bergenia media (Haw.) Engl.

Bergenia pacifica Kom.

Saxifraga cordifolia Haw.

Saxifraga crassifolia L.

Common Name: Siberian Tea

Bergenia crassifolia
Inflorescence
Photograph by: H. Zell
Creative Commons License
Bergenia crassifolia Bergenia crassifolia Bergenia crassifolia Bergenia crassifolia Bergenia crassifolia Bergenia crassifolia

General Information

Bergenia crassifolia is an evergreen perennial, low-growing plant forming a rosette of leaves up to 35cm long and 30cm wide from a thick, rhizomatous rootstock. The plant spreads slowly at the roots to form a colony[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.
]. Colonies covering many hectares have been reported in Siberia[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].
The plant is a popular medicine and source of a tea within its native range. It is commonly harvested from the wild and is cultivated for medicinal use in some areas outside its native range. The plant is also often grown as an ornamental, where it can be used as a ground cover.

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
,
266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

E. Asia - Siberia, northern Mongolia, western China, northern Korea

Habitat

On shady north-facing rocks, stony slopes, rock streams and old moraines in the forest and alpine zones[
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
].

Properties

Edibility Rating *  *  *
Medicinal Rating *  *  *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *
HabitEvergreen Perennial
Height0.30 m
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

Bergenia crassifolia is hardy to about -20°c[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
]. The young growth in spring, even on mature plants, is frost-tender and so it is best to grow the plants in a position sheltered from the early morning sun[
K
Title
Plants for a Future
Author
Ken Fern
Description
Notes from observations, tasting etc at Plants For A Future and on field trips.
].
Succeeds in full sun or light shade in most soils[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
,
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
] but prefers a deep fertile soil that does not dry out fully[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Established plants are drought tolerant according to another report[
190
Title
The Dry Garden.
Publication
 
Author
Chatto. B.
Publisher
Dent
Year
1982
ISBN
0460045512
Description
A good list of drought resistant plants with details on how to grow them.
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are at their best in a medium-heavy soil[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
]. Requires a position sheltered from cold drying winds and from the early morning sun. The leaf colour is best when plants are grown in a poor soil in a sunny position[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
].
A very ornamental plant[
187
Title
Perennials. Volumes 1 and 2.
Publication
 
Author
Phillips. R. & Rix. M.
Publisher
Pan Books
Year
1991
ISBN
0-330-30936-9
Description
Photographs of over 3,000 species and cultivars of ornamental plants together with brief cultivation notes, details of habitat etc.
].
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].
The different species of this genus will hybridise freely when grown near each other[
233
Title
Perennial Garden Plants
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons, London.
Year
1990
ISBN
0 460 86048 8
Description
A concise guide to a wide range of perennials. Lots of cultivation guides, very little on plant uses.
].

Edible Uses

The leaves are used as a tea substitute, mainly for its health-promoting properties[
2
Title
Sturtevant's Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Hedrick. U. P.
Publisher
Dover Publications
Year
1972
ISBN
0-486-20459-6
Description
Lots of entries, quite a lot of information in most entries and references.
,
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
105
Title
Tanaka's Cyclopedia of Edible Plants of the World.
Publication
 
Author
Tanaka. T. & Nakao S.
Publisher
Keigaku Publishing; Tokyo
Year
1976
ISBN
-
Description
The most comprehensive list of edible plants I've come across. Only the briefest entry for each species, though, and some of the entries are more than a little dubious. Not for the casual reader.
,
177
Title
Plants for Human Consumption.
Publication
 
Author
Kunkel. G.
Publisher
Koeltz Scientific Books
Year
1984
ISBN
3874292169
Description
An excellent book for the dedicated. A comprehensive listing of Latin names with a brief list of edible parts.
,
183
Title
Cornucopia - A Source Book of Edible Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Facciola. S.
Publisher
Kampong Publications
Year
1990
ISBN
0-9628087-0-9
Description
Excellent. Contains a very wide range of conventional and unconventional food plants (including tropical) and where they can be obtained (mainly N. American nurseries but also research institutes and a lot of other nurseries from around the world.
,
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].
A single plant usually contains young green leaves produced that growing season, brown leaves that have survived the previous winter, and black leaves that have gone through two winters. In Altai the old blackened wintered leaves, known as chagirsky tea, are preferred for making a tea because the green leaves contain higher amounts of tannins and are more astringent[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].

Medicinal

Bergenia crassifolia is a popular herbal remedy in much of Russia, Mongolia and northern China where the leaves and roots are traditionally considered to be anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-ulcerous, antidiarrheal and astringent[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
,
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
]. The taste is sweet and astringent, and the potency is hot and light. The plant is used in the treatment of conditions such as typhoid and lung fever; disorders of the stomach and intestine; diarrhea, and inflammation of the lung. It is also an ingredient of various traditional prescriptions]1081]. Modern research has also shown the plant to be adaptogenic, antitumor, diuretic, hepatic, hypoglycaemic, hypotensive and stomachic. In addition, the tea has been shown to reduce the appetite and improve the metabolism of people who have become obese through a high-calorie diet[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].

Infusions of the rhizomes have been used in Russian traditional medicine for the treatment of cold, gastritis, enterocolitis, head-ache, diarrhoea and fever. The rhizomes are known for the treatment of oral diseases: periodontal disease, stomatitis, gingivitis and bleeding gums[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
]. An infusion is recommended in gynaecology for the treatment of excessive menstruation, bleeding after abortions, and cervical erosion treatment. The infusion is also said to strengthen capillary walls, to have local vasodilatation activity, to decrease arterial blood pressure and to increase heart rate[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].

In Russian ethnomedicine the leaves are widely used as a beverage[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
]. The thick leaf is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine to supplement vacuity and stanch bleeding; to relieve cough and settle asthma; and to treat dizziness, blood ejection, and hemoptysis[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].
In Tibet, a mashed paste of the fresh green leaves is applied to the skin in order to prevent sunburn and skin damage from UV radiation[
1101
Title
Bergenia crassifolia (L.) Fritsch - Pharmacology and phytochemistry
Publication
Phytomedicine 21 (2014) 1534-1542
Author
Alexander N. Shikov et al
Publisher
 
Year
2014
ISBN
 
Description
Detailed information on the research into the medicinal uses of Bergenia crassifloia
].

The rhizome contains tannins, phenol carboxylic acids and their derivatives, (+)-catechin and catechin gallate, isocoumarin: bergenin[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].
Leaves contain 6 - 30% tannins, 12.18% arbutin, hydroquinone, rododendrine, pectin: bergenan, catechin: gallocatechin, catechin gallate, flavonoids: quercetin, kaempferol, leucoanthocyanidin: leucocyanidin, leucdelifinidin, coumarin: ellagic acid, isocoumarin: bergenin[
1081
Title
Medicinal Plants in Mongolia
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.who.in
Publisher
World Health Organisation; Western Pacific Region
Year
2013
ISBN
987 92 9061 632 0
Description
Information on medicinal plants from Mongolia
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A useful ground cover plant[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
], though rather slow to spread[
197
Title
Ground Cover Plants.
Publication
 
Author
Royal Horticultural Society.
Publisher
Cassells.
Year
1989
ISBN
0-304-31089-1
Description
A handy little booklet from the R.H.S.
]. It forms a clump[
208
Title
Plants for Ground Cover
Publication
 
Author
Thomas. G. S.
Publisher
J. M. Dent & Sons
Year
1990
ISBN
0-460-12609-1
Description
An excellent detailled book on the subject, very comprehensive.
].

Other Uses

Tannin is obtained from the plant[
61
Title
A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man.
Publication
 
Author
Usher. G.
Publisher
Constable
Year
1974
ISBN
0094579202
Description
Forget the sexist title, this is one of the best books on the subject. Lists a very extensive range of useful plants from around the world with very brief details of the uses. Not for the casual reader.
,
74
Title
Flora of the USSR.
Publication
 
Author
Komarov. V. L.
Website
http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
Publisher
Israel Program for Scientific Translation
Year
1968
ISBN
-
Description
An immense (25 or more large volumes) and not yet completed translation of the Russian flora. Full of information on plant uses and habitats but heavy going for casual readers. It can be downloaded from the Internet.
]. The roots contain 15 - 22% tannin, exceptionally 26%[
223
Title
Vegetable Tannins
Publication
 
Author
Rottsieper. E.H.W.
Publisher
The Forestal Land, Timber and Railways Co. Ltd.
Year
1946
ISBN
-
Description
A fairly detailed treatise on the major sources of vegetable tannins.
]. The leaves and stems contain 17 - 25% tannin[
223
Title
Vegetable Tannins
Publication
 
Author
Rottsieper. E.H.W.
Publisher
The Forestal Land, Timber and Railways Co. Ltd.
Year
1946
ISBN
-
Description
A fairly detailed treatise on the major sources of vegetable tannins.
].

Propagation

Seed - surface sow in a greenhouse. Make sure that the compost does not dry out. Two weeks cold stratification can speed up germination which usually takes 1 - 6 months at 15°c[
134
Title
Growing from Seed. Volume 2.
Publication
 
Author
Rice. G. (Editor)
Publisher
Thompson and Morgan.
Year
1988
ISBN
-
Description
Very readable magazine with lots of information on propagation. An interesting article on Ensete ventricosum.
]. Fresh seed, sown as soon as it is ripe in late spring is liable to germinate better than stored seed. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts.
Division in late spring after flowering[
188
Title
The RHS Gardener's Encyclopedia of Plants and Flowers
Publication
 
Author
Brickell. C.
Publisher
Dorling Kindersley Publishers Ltd.
Year
1990
ISBN
0-86318-386-7
Description
Excellent range of photographs, some cultivation details but very little information on plant uses.
] or in autumn[
200
Title
The New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. 1992.
Publication
 
Author
Huxley. A.
Publisher
MacMillan Press
Year
1992
ISBN
0-333-47494-5
Description
Excellent and very comprehensive, though it contains a number of silly mistakes. Readable yet also very detailed.
]. Very easy, larger divisions can be planted straight into their permanent positions whilst smaller clumps are best potted up and kept in a cold frame until they are growing away well.
Cite as: Temperate Plants Database, Ken Fern. temperate.theferns.info. 2018-10-20. <temperate.theferns.info/plant/Bergenia+crassifolia>

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