Description: is a perennial herbaceous plant of the saxifrage family. It has 10 species in its genus, but only 2 grow in the CIS. Grows up to 60 cm tall. Large, petiolate, leathery, rounded, dark green leaves are collected in a basal rosette. Flowers with a bell-shaped corolla, pink, white or red are collected in crowded corymbose inflorescences. Under natural conditions, it blooms in June-July, and blooms in spring in garden plots.
- Homeland: Northern Mongolia, Altai, Sayans and mountains of Central Asia.
- Watering: regular in summer, does not require watering in winter.
- Propagation: seeds, cuttings and division of an adult plant.
- Content temperature: drought-resistant and frost-resistant.
- Air humidity: does not need humidification.
- Lighting: prefers partial shade.
Badan – growing in the garden
You need to plant a plant in late July or early August. It is noteworthy that almost any soil is suitable for growing bergenia, even the heaviest and poorest with good drainage, since the plant does not tolerate stagnant water. It is best to choose a place in partial shade. If there are several plants, then when planting between them, a distance of at least 40 cm must be observed for the normal development of the root system. In the 1st year, bergenia grows slowly, in the 2nd year some specimens bloom, and in the 3rd year it blooms completely.
Bergenia – plant propagation
Bergenia is propagated by seeds, cuttings and division of adult plants. Bergenia – seed propagation is a very long process that does not always give a positive result. Seeds should be sown in the second half of summer. The first 2 years, seedlings develop very slowly, forming low rosettes up to 3 cm. They require careful care and regular watering. Until spring, seedlings should be covered with a layer of straw or dry leaves. The best substrate for them is soddy land, but if necessary, you can use a mixture consisting of compost or humus, loamy soil and sand in equal proportions.
For propagation by cuttings, it is necessary to take segments of above-ground creeping rhizomes 10-20 cm long with at least 3 buds on them. The part of the rhizome with the apical bud is best suited. Cuttings should be planted to a depth of no more than 1.5-2 cm and 35-40 cm apart. The cutting procedure should be carried out after flowering in the period from May to August, so that the plant takes root before the onset of frost.
The bushes should be divided once every 5-6 years in early September and planted in the ground at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other. In the first 2-3 weeks, abundant watering is necessary.
Bergenia – plant care
The plant is unpretentious, tolerates frost and drought well. Bergenia care consists in regular watering, periodic mulching, spring cleaning of leaves and shortening of too long shoots. It is recommended to apply in the period before and after the flowering of complex mineral fertilizers 1 time in 2-3 weeks. Watering is regular in summer, but without waterlogging, and in winter it is not needed.
Bergenia can grow in one place for up to 20 years, but for better growth it is recommended to transplant at intervals of 7-8 years.
Bergenia cordifolia (Bergenia cordifolia)
Originally from Altai. It is a heart-leaved bergenia plant 20-40 cm tall with rough, round, heart-shaped, dark green leaves that hibernate until spring under the snow. The flowers are bell-shaped dense pink or lilac-pink, collected in racemose, slightly inclined inflorescences. Varieties with lavender and white flowers are also known. Blooms in May for 20 days. Maintains air temperature to – 40 °C.
Badan thick-leaved (Bergenia crassifolia)
In nature, it grows in Dauria, Sayan Mountains, Northern Mongolia and Altai. Winter-green, perennial plant up to 60 cm tall. The rhizome is creeping, elevated, thick, completely covered with dried sheaths from old leaves, and numerous adventitious roots extend from their sinuses.
Badan thick-leaved has shiny, leathery, up to 35 cm, large, round-ovate leaves, collected in a basal rosette. The leaves take on a beautiful lilac-red hue in spring and autumn, and most of them remain green until the next spring. Bell-shaped flowers, up to 1 cm in diameter, lilac-pink, collected in a dense apical, paniculate loose inflorescence up to 15 cm long. The flowering period begins at the end of April and lasts for 40-50 days. In July – August, the seeds ripen and remain viable for 2 years.
Badan – the use of the plant
In addition to being used in landscape gardening, bergenia has been used in such areas as medicine, traditional medicine and as a food supplement.
It has been used in traditional Tibetan and Buryat medicine for many centuries. Preparations from the plant have anti-inflammatory, hemostatic, astringent and bactericidal properties. They accelerate the rhythm of heart contractions, strengthen the walls of capillaries, improve the secretory function of the glands and lower blood pressure. Actively affect the pathogens of dysentery and typhoid fever. Also, badan is widely used in gynecological practice. With the help of preparations based on bergenia, uterine fibromyomas are treated, they are used for hyperpolymenorrhea and for uterine bleeding due to abortion. In dentistry, a liquid extract is used to rinse the mouth with stomatitis and gingivitis.
In folk medicine, an infusion of rhizomes is used, consumed in liquid form for gastrointestinal ailments and fever, diseases of the mouth and throat, and headaches. Dry powder from rhizomes is sprinkled on ulcers and wounds.
Pre-soaked and dried rhizomes are used for food. They are very rich in starch. The rhizomes are crushed and added to the flour.
Leaves blackened after winter are used as a tea substitute. The surrogate was called Chagir or Mongolian tea. It tones, improves metabolism and removes toxins from the body.