Plant DetailShow Menu

Heuchera Heuchera

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Heuchera:

Previously known as:

  • Oreanthus
Phonetic Spelling
HEW-ker-ah
Description

Depending on the climate, the genus, Heuchera, is an evergreen to semi-evergreen perennial groundcover that is very popular in the landscape because of its colorful foliage, tiny bell-shaped flowers, and tidy, clumping habit. This genus is an interesting family of perennials comprised of more than 50 species. It is commonly known as coralbells or alumroot, and is hardy from zones 3 to 9, depending on species and cultivar. 

If you want to add bold, colorful foliage to your garden, Heuchera might be just the plant you’re looking for. They make a wonderful addition to the garden and can be used as edgings in perennial borders and group plantings. The lighter-colored varieties stand out nicely in a lightly shaded garden.

Heuchera is native to the Russian Far East, portions of Canada, Mexico, and the United States, and is native to the State of North Carolina.

The genus name, Heuchera, honors Austrian-born, Johann Heinrich von Heucher, who was a medical botanist and professor of medicine in Wittenburg, Germany in the 17th century. The common name, Coral Bells, references the plant's bell-shaped flowers. Another common name, Alumroot, references the medicinal use of some of the species as an astringent to stop bleeding. 

Coralbells and alumroot are primarily grown for their foliage, but many species also have attractive flowers that are favored by butterflies and bees. Flowering usually begins in June and continues throughout the growing season.

 Coralbells can be grown in the sun or shade depending on the selected varieties. Many varieties develop their best leaf color in full sun. They prefer a slightly acidic pH and moist, well-drained soils that have been amended with organic matter like leaf compost or pine bark fines. They are best planted in the late fall or early spring. They are usually short-lived perennials unless they are divided regularly, about every 3 to 4 years. Deadheading the spent flowers will increase bloom production during the summer and into the fall. If the leaves appear ragged, prune them and new growth will appear. Most plants in this genus prefer relatively dry air, but Heuchera villosa will thrive in heat and high humidity. Mulching will protect the plant's roots in the winter months. 

Try some of its species or cultivars to add interest and expand the color palette in your garden! Hummingbirds and butterflies will be attracted to the rich nectar of the flowers.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: There are few insect or disease problems, but leaf scorch can be a problem for plants grown in full sun during hot, dry conditions. Fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, rust, and bacterial leaf spot can occur. Potential insects include weevils, Japanese Beetles, mealybugs, and foliar nematodes.

VIDEO created by Andy Pulte for “Landscape Plant Identification, Taxonomy, and Morphology” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee.

 

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Fence Planter Container Garden Pots on Hardscape Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Muscadine Bed Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens Containers at Pitt County Arboretum
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Amber Waves', 'Berry Smoothie', 'Canyon Belle', 'Electra', 'Green Spice', 'Northern Exposure', 'Palace Purple', 'Peachberry Ice', 'Pink Panther', 'Plum Pudding', 'Pretty Pistachio', 'Southern Comfort'
Tags:
#hummingbird friendly#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#bronze#semi-evergreen#purple leaves#native perennials#rabbit resistant#moist soil#cpp#mounding#NC native#well-drained soil#deer resistant#native garden#border planting#acidic soils tolerant#clumping#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#woodland garden#container plant#perennial#butterfly garden#pollinator garden#landscape plant sleuths course#buncombe county sun and shade garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
'Amber Waves', 'Berry Smoothie', 'Canyon Belle', 'Electra', 'Green Spice', 'Northern Exposure', 'Palace Purple', 'Peachberry Ice', 'Pink Panther', 'Plum Pudding', 'Pretty Pistachio', 'Southern Comfort'
Tags:
#hummingbird friendly#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#bronze#semi-evergreen#purple leaves#native perennials#rabbit resistant#moist soil#cpp#mounding#NC native#well-drained soil#deer resistant#native garden#border planting#acidic soils tolerant#clumping#butterfly friendly#bee friendly#woodland garden#container plant#perennial#butterfly garden#pollinator garden#landscape plant sleuths course#buncombe county sun and shade garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Heuchera
    Family:
    Saxifragaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native Americans used the plant medicinally.
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Russia Far East and North America
    Distribution:
    Native: Canada--Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Northwest Territory, Ontario, and Saskatchewan; Khabarovsk; Mexico--Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, and Mexico Southwest; Primorye; United States--AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, GA, ID, IL IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK OR, PA SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY. Introduced: Austria.
    Wildlife Value:
    Tannin in the leaves is unappetizing to deer and rabbits.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Colorful
    Dimensions:
    Height: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
    Width: 0 ft. 6 in. - 1 ft. 8 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Mounding
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit capsule has two beaks, and the seeds are dark brown to black, ovoid, spiny, and straight on one side and convex on the other.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Orange
    Pink
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Most flowers are bell-shaped and appear in clusters of various colors and sizes depending on the species or cultivar.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Pink
    Purple/Lavender
    Variegated
    White
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Orbicular
    Palmasect
    Leaf Margin:
    Lobed
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are palmately lobed of various colors and sizes with long stems depending on the species or cultivar.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Hairy (pubescent)
    Stem Description:
    The flowering stems are erect, leafless, reddish to green, and often they will have fine hairs
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rock Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Rabbits