Flower of St. Joseph

The flower of San Giuseppe

The botanical denomination of plants was invented around 1700 by the Swedish naturalist Linnaeus, and since that time it has served to classify plant species from all over the world in a universal way. Previously, however, popular tradition had already thought well of classifying flowers and plants in their own way, giving them fictitious names linked to everyday reality, or to devotion. For example, there was a small plant that produced pink or purple flowers, which blossomed very early compared to the others, already between late February and early March. On 19 March it was already possible to see the meadows and the edges of the country roads full of them. Since on March 19, according to the Christian calendar, Saint Joseph is celebrated, putative father of Jesus Christ for the Catholic tradition, the bergenia was called flower of Saint Joseph.

Bergenia and its characteristics

That precocious little flower was the bergenia. Bergenia is a genus of perennial grass that belongs to the Sassifragaceae family, native to Central Asia. In gardens, at the beginning of the twentieth century, it was widely used especially in the borders of flower beds. Today it has fallen into disuse a bit, but in reality it would be a plant to be rediscovered, because it requires very little care and is very ornamental, albeit discreet. It looks like a thick bush of very fleshy, heart-shaped leaves, which have wavy and serrated edges. The leaves are dark green in color but tend to turn reddish in autumn. When winter is coming to an end, long stems protrude from the center of these leaves, on the top of which the flowers of St. Joseph bloom. These are small corollas that are collected in panicles,

How to grow bergenia

Bergenia can be grown in your garden, or in pots, on the balcony of the house, for ornamental purposes. In fact, as we said, it is particularly suitable for creating borders along the borders of the flower beds. What it needs is a soil that is very draining, because it needs a lot of water but fears water stagnation, and a warm and sunny position, because it does not like the cold. If you grow the St. Joseph flower in pot, you should choose a very large one, with very light soil. In summer it would be a good idea to always put a superficial layer of mulch, which serves not to make the watering water evaporate too quickly. In November you can start fertilizing, using organic fertilizer; in the hot period, on the other hand, liquid fertilizer rich in potassium and phosphorus can be used,

Flower of San Giuseppe: The care of the bergenia

The St. Joseph flower is a sturdy little flower, which appears in early spring and lasts until May or June. After flowering you can proceed with pruning, cutting the branches 10 centimeters from the ground. Furthermore, after flowering, every two or three years, it is possible to proceed with the division into tufts, to obtain other seedlings from the main plant. For the rest, the bergenia does not need any other special care, and is not subject to the attack of parasites or diseases. Typically, bergenia pairs well with other acidophilic plants, namely rhododendron, camellia, or azalea. This plant is evergreen, and perennial, really ideal for any garden or balcony; even when it is not blooming it contributes to creating a corner of vegetation which in autumn becomes even more interesting,

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