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The bold, rounded, evergreen leaves of bergenias make good-looking ground cover. Some varieties take on reddish or metallic tints in winter, but 'Purpurea' has purple foliage all year round, with upright stalks of pink flowers opening in late winter and extending through spring. Although bergenias thrive in light shade, the foliage of coloured leafed varieties like this one is strongest when grown in sun and poor soil. Because of their fine foliage the plants make a good foil for a huge range of summer flowers - use as a substitute for hosta in poor soil or drier conditions. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it its prestigious Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Hardy perennial
Flower colour: Pink
Foliage colour: Dark green
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Acidic, Chalky/alkaline, Dry, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to divide plants: September to May
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