Bergenia cordifolia
Common Name: pigsqueak 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Native Range: Russia
Zone: 3 to 8
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: April to May
Bloom Description: Deep pink
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Ground Cover, Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Good Cut
Leaf: Good Fall
Tolerate: Rabbit, Deer, Heavy Shade, Erosion


Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in part shade to full shade. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, but prefers moist, humusy ones. Evergreen in the South but may suffer considerable winter damage in cold climates such as St. Louis. Remove all damaged foliage in late winter to early spring. Prompt remove spent flowering stems. Easily grown from seed. Spreads slowly by rhizomes.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Bergenia cordifolia, commonly called pigsqueak, is a clump-forming perennial which is primarily grown as a ground cover. Features large rosettes of leathery, glossy, toothed, rounded, dark green leaves (to 10" long by 8" wide) which are heart-shaped at the base. Leaves typically form a thick, slowly-spreading clump of foliage to 12" tall. Foliage turns purplish-bronze in winter. Small dark pink flowers in dense panicles appear within or above the foliage on stout stalks to 16" tall in April. Leaves are often used in floral arrangements.

Genus name honors German physician and botanist Karl August von Bergen (1704-1759).

Specific epithet means heart-shaped leaves.

Commonly called pig squeak because of the noise produced by rubbing a leaf between thumb and finger.


No serious insect or disease problems. Rabbits and deer tend to avoid this plant.


Shaded border fronts or rock gardens. Ground cover for woodland or shade gardens. Edging for paths and walkways. Suitable for use as a fresh cut flower.