Heuchera richardsonii

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: alum root 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Native Range: Northwestern North America
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to July
Bloom Description: Green
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Dry to medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful
Tolerate: Drought

Culture

Best grown in organically rich, humusy, dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun in the northern part of its range, but appreciates some afternoon shade in the hot summers of the deep South. Drought tolerant. In cold winter climates, a winter mulch applied after the ground freezes will help prevent root heaving (clumps are shallow-rooted and will develop woody bases rather quickly). Divide clumps in spring every 3-4 years.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Heuchera richardsonii is a clump-forming Missouri native coral bells which occurs in somewhat dryish locations on prairies, open woodland slopes, uplands, banks and along railroads. Typically features a 12-18" tall basal clump of heart-shaped, shallow-lobed, long-petioled, green leaves (2-3" wide) which show some white mottling or purple blush when young, maturing to a more uniform green. Tiny, greenish, bell-shaped flowers in open, airy panicles are borne on slender, wiry stems extending well above the mound of leaves, typically to a height of 18-24" (infrequently to 3') in spring to early summer. Flower stems and leaf undersides are distinctively hairy.

Genus name honors Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677-1747), physician, botanist and medicinal plant expert at Wittenberg University, Germany.

Specific epithet may honor English physician and botanist Richard Richardson (1663-1741).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Attractive foliage and airy flower panicles provide color and contrast to the rock garden, perennial border, native plant garden or open woodland garden. Good selection for dry locations. Good edging plant. Mass to form an attractive ground cover.