University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - June 1999

Heuchera 'Raspberry Regal'

(hue' ker-ah)

Common name: Coral Bells, Alum Root, Crimson Bells

Family: Saxifragaceae, Saxifrage

Height x width:18-30" tall x 12-18" wide

Growth rate: moderate

Foliage: basal and evergreen, reniform to ovate or orbicular, 1"-3" wide; lobed margins; often pubescent on hairy petioles, green to dark purple, sometimes partly to mostly veined silver

Flowers: ¼-½" long bell-shaped, in cymose panicles on stems 18-30" tall, naked stems (no stem leaves); raspberry-red from sepals; early to mid summer

Hardiness: zones 3-8

Soil: well-drained, organic

Light: part shade, tolerates sun in north if sufficient moisture

Pests and problems: leaf spots, powdery mildew, leaf and stem smut, stem rot, strawberry root weevil, mealybug, foliar nematode

Landscape habit, uses: woodland and shade gardens or borders, cut flowers, bees and hummingbirds (especially red-flowered cultivars)

Other interest: cross of sanguinea and x brizoides; introduced by Busse Gardens, Cokato, MN; one of best coralbells for cut flowers; stems self-supporting; named for an 18th century German botanist J.H. von Heucher; similar to Tiarella only with 5 stamens in flowers rather than 10 for the latter, and showy parts usually sepals not petals as in latter; some intergeneric hybrids under x Heucherella; much breeding among this genus especially recently.

Other culture: plants easily frost heave as they are shallow-rooted, to avoid plant crowns 1" below soil surface and mulch; remove spend flower stalks for prolonged bloom and aesthetics; avoid heavy clay soils or soils with very acidic pH; many related cultivars perform better in the north than the south, being intolerant of excessive heat and humidity

Propagation: division when plant center becomes woody (every 3 years or so), leaf cuttings in late fall of leaves and short petiole segment in sand, seeds (500,000 seeds per ounce) sown in spring for following year flowering, tissue culture (mainly of new varieties)

Sources: Sunny Border Nurseries, Kensington, CT (wholesale); check your local garden stores, and online catalogs as well

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