Bergenia ciliata ligulata (Wall.) Yeo
Bergenia himalaica Boriss.
Bergenia ligulata Engl.
Saxifraga ligulata densiflora Ser.
Saxifraga ligulata minor Wall. ex Ser.
Saxifraga pacumbis Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don
Bergenia pacumbis is an evergreen, perennial plant growing around 17cm tall. It produces a cluster of basal leaves up to 20cm long from a thick, rhizomatous rootstock. The plant spreads slowly at the roots to form a colony[
The plant is harvested from the wild and also cultivated for its use as a medicine. It is also grown as an ornamental in gardens, where it can be used as a ground cover.
E. Asia - Himalayas from Afghanistan Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, southwest China
Forests, rock crevices; at elevations from 2,300 - 2,400 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Bergenia pacumbis is found at moderate to higher elevations in the Himalayas and can tolerate considerable frost. However, 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[
Succeeds in full sun or light shade in most soils[
] but prefers a deep fertile soil that does not dry out fully[
]. Grows well in heavy clay soils. Plants are at their best in a medium-heavy soil[
]. 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[
Plants seem to be immune to the predations of rabbits[
The different species of this genus will hybridise freely when grown near each other[
The root is rich in tannins and is astringent. It is used as a tonic in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea and pulmonary affections[
]. The root has a high reputation in indigenous systems of medicine for dissolving stones in the kidneys[
The root is bruised and applied externally to treat boils and ophthalmia[
The roots contain tannic acid, gallic acid and bergenin[
A useful ground cover plant[
], though rather slow to spread[
]. It forms a clump[
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[
]. 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[
] or in autumn[
]. 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.