'Winterglut' or 'Winter Glow'
Heartleaf or Elephant-ears
"Along the coast road by the headland,
the early lights of winter glow.
I'll pour a cup to you my darling.
And raise it up, say Cheerio."
Jethro Tull, 1982
Two 'Winterglut' or 'Winter Glow' hybrid bergenias are included in a mixed bed of bergenias on a neglected alley end's wall, where they thrive near a broad patch of equally neglectable Privet Honeysuckles.
One 'Winterglut' was a very tiny well-rooted start, so that it could be inserted directly into the hillside between rocks with minimum disruption of the hill. The other began as a gallon-pot specimen & is shown here a year after it was planted on the top of the same hill, in front of the fence, in April.
Both 'Winterglut' plantings bloom extremely well in April & May, & can rebloom in late summer & early autumn though not reliably. The flower candelabrums are the deepest darkest magenta of any of our bergenias. The winter coloration of the leaves is also the deepest marroon-red & the slowest to turn back to green in spring. The leaves rather resemble B. cordifolia 'Abendglocken' except that 'Abendglocken' turns back to green sooner at winter's end & its flowers are a lavender-pink instead of deep magenta.
'Winterglut' was bred from an earlier cultivar called 'Rotblum,' its Swedish developer was Magnus Nilsson, who continued to work in his nursery near Paap into his nineties. He spent forty years to develop 'Winterglut' so that that it would grow true from seed! Another famed plant breeder, Klaus Jelitto, is credited with recognizing what a splendid plant Magnus had developed, & saw to its introduction to the worldwide gardening community in 1988.
As with other bergenia varieties, 'Winter Glow' is not fussy & will do well in sun or shade, & moist or dry conditions. With a little protection from sun its leaves will remain greener in summer & not become spotty, but with exposure the leaves will turn their bright maroon in autumn rather than winter.
Bergenia x 'Silberlicht'
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