Sunday, October 5, 2008

Heucheras: September 'Plant of the Month'

From John Gilrein, Plant of the Month Coordinator:

Our September 2008 plant of the month was hybrid Heuchera (Coral Bells). Heuchera is a genus which includes at least 4 species native to the U.S., including H. villosa native to the Southeastern U.S., and H. sanguinea, native to the Southwestern U.S.

The 4 cultivars we purchased are: ‘Caramel’, ‘Miracle’, ‘Obsidian’, and ‘Hollywood’. ‘Caramel’ and ‘Miracle’ are hybrids of H. villosa by Thierry Delabroye. ‘Obsidian’ and ‘Caramel’ are hybrids created by Terra Nova nurseries. Since our plants did not sell out at the September meeting, we will have all 4 cultivars for sale at the October 18th meeting.

Heucheras have a long season of interest, with the colorful foliage carrying the show.

  • ‘Caramel’ has leaves of a golden caramel color with red undersides with cream flowers. Height 8 inches, 24 inches in flower, width15 -18 inches.
  • ‘Miracle’ has leaves that emerge chartreuse that mature to brick red with a chartreuse edge and silver undersides, with pink flowers. Height 8 inches, 15 inches in flower, width 12 -14 inches.
  • ‘Obsidian’ has smooth, dark purple leaves with ivory flowers. Height 10 inches, 24 inches in flower, width 12 – 18 inches.
  • ‘Hollywood’ has maroon tinted foliage mottled with silver and coral pink flowers, and is a rebloomer. Height 8 inches, 16 inches in flower, width 10 -15 inches.
Heucheras are easy to grow, and well adapted to our climate. They should be planted in full sun to part shade, in well drained, moisture retentive soil. The pink flowered cultivars will be attractive to hummingbirds.

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