Pig Squeak
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Pig Squeak
P Introduced Photo: Kalyan Brata Santra
Common name: Pig Squeak, Winter-blooming Bergenia, Heart-leaved Bergenia, Leather Bergenia, Korean Elephant-ear, ElephantÂ’s Ears, Siberian Tea
Botanical name: Bergenia crassifolia    Family: Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)
Synonyms: Bergenia biflora, Geryonia crassifolia, Saxifraga crassifolia

Pig Squeak is a perennial herb, 15-30 cm tall, with large roundish leaves and bright pink flower. The plant got its name from the fact that a pig squeaking sound that can be made if one rubs two leaves of the plant together. Leaves are all basal; leaf-stalk 3-9 cm, sheathing base hairless at margin. Leaves are narrowly to broadly obovate or elliptic, 5-12.5 x 3.5-9.5 cm, leathery, both surfaces hairless and glandular pitted, base usually wedge-shaped, rarely rounded, margin sinuate-toothed, tip blunt. Flowers are borne in cymes 3.5-13 cm long, many flowered; branches and flower-stalks glandular. Petals are purple, elliptic to broadly ovate, 7-8 x 4.6-5 mm, veins many, base narrowed into a claw about 1 mm, tip flat. Stamens are about 4.5 mm. Hypanthium is glandular. Sepals are erect, obovate to broadly triangular-obovate, 3-4 x 2-4 mm, leathery, below nearly glandular, veins many, margin hairless, tip blunt or retuse. Ovary is ovoid, about 2.5 mm; styles 2, about 2.5 mm. Pig Squeak is native to China, Mongolia, Sibera to Korea. Flowering: May-September.

Identification credit: Kalyan Brata Santra Photographed in cultivation in Rishyap, Kalimpong, WB.

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