| Heuchera micrantha, Heuchera villosa, Heuchera americana, Heuchera maxima, Heuchera rubescens|
Heuchera /ˈhjuːkᵻrə/ is a genus of evergreen, herbaceous perennial plants in the family Saxifragaceae, all native to North America. Common names include alumroot and coral bells.
Heuchera have palmately lobed leaves on long petioles, and a thick, woody rootstock. The genus was named after Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677–1746), an 18th-century German physician, and Professor at Wittenberg University. There are approximately 37 species, but the taxonomy of the genus is difficult because the species often intergrade with one another, hybridization is common, and the flowers change markedly in proportion as they develop.
Alumroot species grow in varied habitats, so some species look quite different from one another, and have varying preferences regarding temperature, soil, and other natural factors. H. maxima is found on the Channel Islands of California, where it grows on rocky, windy, saline-washed ocean shores, and H. sanguinea, called coral bells because of its cerise flowers, can be found in the warm, dry canyons of Mexico and adjacent New Mexico and Arizona. In the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States, the plants grow best in shade.
Several alumroots and their crosses are used as ornamental plants.
Native American peoples used some Heuchera species medicinally. The Tlingit used H. glabra as an herbal remedy for inflammation of the testicles caused by syphilis. To the Navajo, H. novamexicana was a panacea and a pain reliever. The roots of H. cylindrica had a variety of medicinal uses among the Blackfoot, Flathead, Kutenai, Okanagan, Colville, and Shuswap.
The majority of Heuchera sold for gardens are hybrids of H. americana, such as 'Green Spice'. The original 'Purple Palace' discovered in a palace in England is believed to be a H. micrantha × H. villosa hybrid, which was then crossed with H. americana. Another group of hybrids are crosses of Heuchera with Tiarella treated under the name × Heucherella. Gardeners and horticulturists have developed a multitude of hybrids between various Heuchera species. There is an extensive array of blossom sizes, shapes, and colors, foliage types, and geographic tolerances. They are valued as foliage plants, producing rosettes of leaves in shades of green, pink and bronze, often variegated or textured; with long thyrses of white, green, pink or red flowers in spring.
The following cultivars have gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit:-
Species include:Heuchera abramsii - San Gabriel alumroot
Heuchera alba - white alumroot
Heuchera americana - American alumroot
Heuchera bracteata - Rocky Mountain alumroot
Heuchera brevistaminea - Laguna Mountain alumroot
Heuchera caespitosa - tufted alumroot
Heuchera caroliniana - Carolina alumroot
Heuchera chlorantha - green-flowered alumroot
Heuchera cylindrica - roundleaf alumroot, lava alumroot
Heuchera eastwoodiae - Senator Mine alumroot
Heuchera elegans - urnflower alumroot
Heuchera glabra - alpine alumroot
Heuchera glomerulata - Chiricahua Mountain alumroot
Heuchera grossulariifolia - gooseberryleaf alumroot
Heuchera hallii - Front Range alumroot
Heuchera hirsutissima - shaggy-haired alumroot
Heuchera longiflora - longflower alumroot
Heuchera maxima - island alumroot, jill-of-the-rocks
Heuchera merriamii - Merriam's alumroot
Heuchera micrantha - crevice alumroot, smallflower alumroot
Heuchera novomexicana - New Mexico alumroot, range alumroot
Heuchera parishii - Mill Creek alumroot
Heuchera parviflora - littleflower alumroot
Heuchera parvifolia - littleleaf alumroot, common alumroot
Heuchera pilosissima - seaside alumroot
Heuchera pubescens - downy alumroot
Heuchera pulchella - Sandia Mountain alumroot
Heuchera richardsonii - Richardson's alumroot
Heuchera rubescens - pink alumroot, red alumroot, jack-o'the-rocks
Heuchera sanguinea - coral bells
Heuchera villosa - hairy alumroot, maple-leaved alumroot
Heuchera wootonii - White Mountain alumroot
Hybrids include:Heuchera × brizoides