The shiny, evergreen, cabbage-like leaves of Bergenia have a unique leathery appearance that is really eye-catching. This plant gets its common name, "Pig Squeak", from the sound the leaf makes when rubbed between two fingers.
From early to late spring, bright pinkish red flowers appear in clusters on thick stems just above the foliage. These flowers and the leaves are both long-lasting when cut for bouquets. In Michigan, plants sometimes rebloom in the fall.
During the fall and winter months, the leaves take on remarkable reddish-bronze hues which remain until spring when they turn back to green. Any tattered leaves can be removed at that time. This variety is regarded as an improvement over B. 'Rotblum'.
Bergenia can be used in a variety of ways in the landscape. It is most impressive when used as a durable, evergreen groundcover, but it can also be used in containers and rock gardens. It is quite effective at softening the hard edges of pavement and also works well as an edging or filler plant in flower borders.