Featured Plant: Heuchera Obsidian

Image courtesy Trents Nursery

The glossy midnight hues of this dark foliaged heuchera won’t fade out during summer. The ultra-dark leaves contrast beautifully with greens, blues and silver. Suitable as edging, ground cover or in containers. Cold hardy, heat and humidity tolerant. Eventual Height: 15cm X Width: 35cm

From Wikipedia:

San Gabriel Mountains coralbells.jpg
Heuchera elegans on Mount Wilson in California
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Core eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Saxifragaceae
Genus: Heuchera

See text

Heuchera /ˈhjuːkɨrə/[1] is a genus of herbaceous perennial plants in the family Saxifragaceae, all native to North America. Common names include alumroot and coral bells. They have palmately lobed leaves on long petioles, and a thick, woody rootstock. The genus was named after Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677–1746), an 18th-century German physician.[2] There are approximately 37 species, but the taxonomy of the genus is difficult because the species often intergrade with one another, hybridization is common, and the flowers change markedly in proportion as they develop.[2]

Alumroot species grow in varied habitats, so some species look quite different from one another, and have varying preferences regarding temperature, soil, and other natural factors. H. maxima is found on the Channel Islands of California, where it grows on rocky, windy, saline-washed ocean shores, and H. sanguinea, called coral bells because of its cerise flowers, can be found in the warm, dry canyons of Mexico and adjacent New Mexico and Arizona.

Several alumroots and their crosses are used as ornamental plants.[2]


Native American peoples used some Heuchera species medicinally. The Tlingit used H. glabra as an herbal remedy for inflammation of the testicles caused by syphilis.[3] To the Navajo, H. novamexicana was a panacea and a pain reliever.[4] The roots of H. cylindrica had a variety of medicinal uses among the Blackfoot, Flathead, Kutenai, Okanagan, Colville, and Shuswap.[5]


The majority of Heuchera sold for gardens are hybrids of H. americana, such as 'Green Spice'.[6] The original 'Purple Palace' discovered in a palace in England is believed to be a H. micrantha × H. villosa hybrid,[7] which was then crossed with H. americana. Another group of hybrids are crosses of Heuchera with Tiarella treated under the name × Heucherella. Gardeners and horticulturists have developed a multitude of hybrids between various Heuchera species. There is an extensive array of blossom sizes, shapes, and colors, foliage types, and geographic tolerances. They are valued as foliage plants, producing rosettes of leaves in shades of green, pink and bronze, often variegated or textured; with long thyrses of white, green, pink or red flowers in spring.

The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-

  • 'Blackbird'[8]
  • 'Burgundy Frost'[9]
  • 'Can-Can'[10]
  • 'Chocolate Veil'[11]      
  • 'Fireworks'[12]
  • 'Magic Wand'[13]
  • 'Molly Bush'[14]
  • 'Purple Petticoats'[15]      

Selected species

Species include:[20][21][22]

Hybrids include:

  • Heuchera × brizoides



  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book. 1995. 606–607.
  2. ^ a b c Heuchera. Flora of North America.
  3. ^ Heuchera glabra. Flora of North America.
  4. ^ Heuchera novamexicana. Flora of North America.
  5. ^ Heuchera cylindrica. Flora of North America.
  6. ^ Armitage's Garden Perennials. Books.google.ca. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  7. ^ Cullina, W. New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. ISBN 0-395-96609-4, ISBN 978-0-395-96609-9
  8. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Blackbird' / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  9. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Burgundy Frost' / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  10. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Can-can' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  11. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Chocolate Veil' / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  12. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Fireworks' PBR AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  13. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Magic Wand' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  14. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Molly Bush' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  15. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Purple Petticoats' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  16. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Quilter's Joy' / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  17. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Raspberry Regal' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  18. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Sashay' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  19. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Smokey Rose' / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2013-04-01. 
  20. ^ Heuchera: List of Species. Flora of North America.
  21. ^ Heuchera. USDA PLANTS.
  22. ^ GRIN Species Records of Heuchera. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  23. ^ a b c d e R. A. Folk & J. V. Freudenstein (2014) Revision of Heuchera Section Rhodoheuchera Subsections Hemsleyanae and Rosendahliae Subsectio Nova (Saxifragaceae). Systematic Botany 39(3): 850-874.
  24. ^ a b R. A. Folk & P. J. Alexander (2015) Two New Species, Heuchera soltisii and H. inconstans, with Further Taxonomic Notes for the Western Group of Heuchera Section Heuchera (Saxifragaceae). Systematic Botany 40(2):489-500.
  25. ^ R. Folk (2013) Heuchera lakelae (Saxifragaceae), a new species from the Sierra La Marta and Sierra Coahuilón, Coahuila and Nuevo León, Mexico. Phytotaxa 124: 37-42.
  26. ^ P. J. Alexander (2008) Heuchera woodsiaphila (Saxifragaceae), a new species from the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 2(1): 447-453.

External links

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuchera


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