Chinese Bergenia
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Chinese Bergenia
P Native Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Chinese Bergenia, Chinese elephant's ears • Urdu: Zakham-e-hayat ﺯﺧﻢﹺ ﺣﹷﻴﺎﺕ • Mizo: Kham-damdawi • Nepali: सिम्ताडी Simtaadee
Botanical name: Bergenia pacumbis    Family: Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)
Synonyms: Bergenia himalaica Boriss., Bergenia ligulata, Bergenia ciliata f. ligulata

Chinese Bergenia is a perennial herb, about 17 cm tall. Rhizomes are thick, scaly. Leaves are all at the base, leaf-stalk 3-10 cm or longer, blade round or broadly ovate to broadly obovate, 7-15 x 6.6-13.2 cm, leathery, both surfaces hairless, base rounded, margin entire or obscurely rounded toothed, rigidly fringed with hairs, tip blunt. White-pink flowers are borne in cymes, about 7.5 cm; branches and flower-stalks sparsely glandular. Hypanthium is sparsely glandular hairy. Sepals are spreading, broadly ovate, 3-3.5 mm, leathery, hairless, veins many, apical margin sometimes sparsely toothed. Petals are white or pink, round, about 8.5 x 6 mm, veins many, base narrowed into a claw about 2 mm, tip blunt. Stamens are about 5.5 mm. Chinese Bergenia is found in fForests, rock crevices, at altitudes of 2300-2400 m, in the Himalayas, from Afghanistan,Kashmir, Nepal to Bhutan, NE India. Flowering: June-August.
Medicinal uses: The root of Chinese Bergenia is rich in tannins and is used as a tonic in the treatment of fevers, diarhoea and pulmonary affections. The root has a high reputation in indigenous systems of medicine for dissolving stones in the kidneys. The root is bruised and applied externally to treat boils and ophthalmia.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju Photographed in Soureni, Mirik, West Bengal.

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