Heuchera × brizoides 'Chatterbox'
Common Name: coral bells
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Saxifragaceae
Zone: 3 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Rose-pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Attracts: Hummingbirds
Tolerate: Black Walnut

Culture

Best grown in organically rich, humusy, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Performs well in full sun in the north, but prefers some shade (particularly in the heat of the afternoon) in the south. In the St. Louis area, best foliage color may occur in sunny spots with some afternoon part shade. Scorch and general foliage decline usually occur if soils are allowed to dry out. If grown in full sun, consistent moisture is particularly important. Remove stems of faded flowers to encourage additional bloom. Foliage is essentially evergreen in warm winter climates, but the amount of retained foliage color in cold winter climates such as St. Louis depends in large part upon the severity of the temperatures. In cold winter climates, a winter mulch applied after the ground freezes will help prevent root heaving. Divide clumps in spring every 3-4 years.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Heuchera, commonly called coral bells or alumroot, is a genus consisting of about 55 species of evergreen to semi-evergreen herbaceous perennials which are all native to North America. Plants grow in a variety of different habitats including woodland areas, Appalachian seeps, prairies, rocky cliffs and alpine slopes. Plants range in size from dwarf alpine plants with flower spikes rising to only 5” tall to much larger woodland plants with flower spikes towering to 36” tall. Species plants are primarily native to the West, particularly in the Rocky Mountains, with a few species extending into northern Mexico. However, some important species are native to woodland areas in the East and Southeast.

Hybrid cultivars designated as x brizoides are crosses involving H. sanguinea, H. americana and H. micrantha.

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

Hybrid name means resembling quaking grass or Briza.

'Chatterbox' features a basal mound (typically to 12" tall) of heart-shaped, lobed, slightly toothed, long-petioled medium-green leaves (2-4" wide). Tiny, rose-coral, 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 15-20" in late spring to late summer. Much longer bloom time than most other heucheras.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Frost heaving of roots may occur when winter temperatures fluctuate widely. Good resistance to powdery mildew. Stem rot is an occasional problem.

Garden Uses

Mass as a ground cover or plant in groups. Rock gardens, borders and open woodland gardens. Effective as an edger along paths or walkways.