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


Best grown in dry to medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Grows well in nearly any well-draining soil, including shallow rocky or gravely soils and more rich, humusy loams. Prefers full sun in the northern part of its range, but appreciates some afternoon shade in climates with hot, humid summers. 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, commonly called prairie alumroot or Richardson's alumroot, is a clump-forming, herbaceous perennial native to portions of the north-central United States and south-central Canada. It can be found growing on prairies, open woodlands, glades, slopes, bluffs, and uplands, often in rocky or sandy soils. 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.

The specific epithet richardsonii honors John Richardson (1787-1865), a Scottish naturalist, explorer, and surgeon in the Royal Navy.


No serious insect or disease problems.


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.