Description from Flora of China
Herbs perennial, forming large clumps. Rhizomes creeping, large, thick, scaly. Leaves all basal, ± persistent, simple, waxy, often leathery; petiole short, broad, sheathing at base; leaf blade thick, margin entire, crenate, or dentate. Infloresences cymose, bracteate. Flowers showy, large. Sepals 5. Petals 5, white, pink, red, or purple. Stamens 10. Carpels 2, basally connate; ovary 1/4 subsuperior, proximally 2-loculed with axile placentation and distally 1-loculed with marginal placentation; styles 2; ovules many. Fruit a capsule. Seeds numerous, dark brown, small.
At least two species (Bergenia crassifolia and B. pacumbis) are cultivated as ornamentals and for medicinal use, and they have been considerably hybridized. Bergenia is most closely related to Mukdenia and Oresitrophe; other close relatives are Astilboides, Darmera Voss, and Rodgersia.
Ten species: Asia; seven species (three endemic) in China.
(Authors: Pan Jintang ; Douglas E. Soltis)