Heuchera - ALUMROOT

Family: Saxifrage - Saxifragaceae Family

Rhizome scaly; bulblets 0.
Leaf: basal, sometimes a few cauline; blade ovate, base cordate to reniform, lobes and teeth generally shallow, irregular.
Inflorescence: panicle, often spike- or raceme-like; bracts generally scale-like.
Flower: radial or ± bilateral; hypanthium partly fused to ovary; calyx lobes equal or not; petals 0 or 5, generally equal, clawed, generally white; stamens 5, generally equal; pistil 1, ovary > 1/2-inferior, chamber 1, placentas 2, parietal.
Fruit: capsule.
Seed: red-brown, minutely spiny.
50 species: North America. (J.H. von Heucher, German professor of medicine, 1677–1747) Highly variable; needs study. [Jepson]

Members of this genus are typically rock dwellers, often found growings where soil has collected in the fissures. A Perennial, characterized by clusters of leathery, oval or heart-shaped leaves, growing directly off the root crowns on petioles. The small, cup-shaped, five-petaled, light pink to greenish white flowers are arranged on leafless stalks that extend well above the plant. The taproot is large and has a scaly brown skin. [Tilford]

Local Species

  1. Heuchera chlorantha - Meadow alumroot [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  2. Heuchera glabra - Smooth alumroot [E-flora][PCBC][TSFTK]
  3. Heuchera micrantha - Small-flowered alumroot [PCBC][E-flora]


Heuchera chlorantha

Heuchera glabra

Heuchera micrantha

Meadow Alumroot - Heuchera chlorantha

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

[IFBC-E-flora]

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]

Habitat / Range
Mesic to moist grassy bluffs, streambanks, meadows, rocky river banks, roadsides and forest margins in the lowland and montane zones; infrequent on the Queen Charlotte Islands, WC BC, S Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland; S to ID and CA. [IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]2014


Identification

General: Perennial herb from short, thick rhizomes; stems erect, 40-100 cm tall, conspicuously long-soft-hairy below, glandular-hairy above. [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: Basal leaves heart-egg- to almost kidney-shaped, 4-8 cm wide, not quite as long, palmately 5- to 9-lobed, the lobes shallow, broadly rounded, doubly-toothed; long-stalked, the stalks densely hairy; stem leaves lacking; stipules membranous, fused to the leaf stalks. [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: Inflorescence spike-like, densely-flowered, to 15 cm long; bracts membranous; petals white to greenish-yellow, often absent or partly absent, clawed, less than half length of sepals, the blades linear to broadly spoon-shaped; calyces green to greenish-yellow, narrowly bell-shaped, joined to ovary almost to top, the free hypanthium slightly lop-sided, about as long as part joined to ovary, lined with a thick glandular disk, calyx lobes 5, nearly equal, oblong, about as long as rest of calyx, tips blunt to rounded; stamens 5, opposite the calyx lobes. [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: Capsules, 9-11 mm long, opening along the beaks; seeds dark brown, 0.7-0.8 mm long, with lengthwise rows of slender spines. [IFBC-E-flora]


Smooth Alumroot - Heuchera glabra

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

[IFBC-E-flora]

Origin Status: Native [E-flora]

Habitat / Range Moist rock crevices, rocky meadows, streambanks and talus slopes from the montane to alpine zones; frequent in S BC, infrequent northwards and absent in NE BC; N to AK, E to SW AB and S to N OR. [IFBC-E-flora]

[E-flora]2014

Identification

Heuchera glabra is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft).
It is hardy to zone 4 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. [PFAF]
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil. [PFAF]
General: Perennial herb from well-developed, horizontal to ascending rhizomes, clothed with old, brown leaf-bases and stipules; stems 1 to several, erect, 15-60 cm tall, smooth to finely glandular-hairy below, strongly glandular-hairy in the inflorescence. [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: Basal leaves heart-egg-shaped, 3-9 (14) cm wide, shorter than wide, palmately 5-lobed 1/3 to 1/2 to base, the lobes shallowly lobed and coarsely toothed, sparsely glandular-hairy below, smooth above, the stalks long; stem leaves 1 or 2, greatly reduced, the upper bract-like; stipules membranous, fused to the leaf stalks. [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: Inflorescence an open, many-flowered cluster, the branches and flower-stalks thread-like, the bracts linear; petals white, 5, 2- to 4-times longer than sepals, clawed, the claws slender, blades diamond- to spoon-shaped; calyces greenish-yellow, cone-shaped, glandular-hairy, joined to ovary almost to top, the free hypanthium less than 0.5 mm long; calyx lobes 5, oblong-egg-shaped, about 2/3 length of lower portion; stamens 5, longer than calyx lobes. [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: Capsules, 5-6 mm long, egg-shaped, opening along the beaks; seeds brown, 0.7-0.8 mm long, with lengthwise rows of about 20 spines. [IFBC-E-flora]

Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses


Cultivation & Propogation
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in the middle of spring in an outdoor seedbed and planted out in early summer. Alternatively, you can sow the seed in an outdoor seedbed in the middle of summer for planting out in the following spring. Division in March or October[1, 111]. It is best to divide the plants in August or early September, making sure that the woody roots are planted quite deeply with only the crown of foliage above the ground[233]. [PFAF]

Groundcover: A good ground cover plant for the woodland garden[200]. [PFAF]
Succeeds in any good sweet garden soil that does not dry out in spring[1]. Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade[1, 111]. Prefers a well-drained fairly rich and not too heavy soil[111]. Apt to hybridize with other members of this genus[111]. A very ornamental plant[60]. [PFAF]


Small-flowered Alumroot - Heuchera micrantha

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

[IFBC-E-flora]

Habitat / Range Moist to dry streambanks, rock crevices and talus slopes from the lowland to subalpine zones; infrequent in NW BC, frequent on Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland; S to WA and CA. [IFBC-E-flora]

Origin Status: Native. [E-flora]

[E-flora]2014

Identification
SUBTAXA PRESENT IN BC

Heuchera micrantha is an evergreen Perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees. [PFAF]
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.[PFAF]
General: Perennial herb from well-developed, horizontal to ascending rhizomes, clothed with old, brown leaf-bases and stipules; stems 1 to several, erect, 15-60 cm tall, long soft-hairy below, strongly glandular-hairy in the inflorescence. [IFBC-E-flora]
Leaves: Basal leaves kidney- to heart-egg-shaped, 3-8 cm wide, either shorter than wide with 5 to 7 rounded, shallow lobes, or longer than wide with pointy lobes cleft 1/3 their length, stiff-hairy below, sometimes also above, stalked, the stalks long, sparsely to densely hairy or rarely smooth; stem leaves 1 or 2, greatly reduced, the upper bract-like; stipules membranous, fused to the leaf-stalks. [IFBC-E-flora]
Flowers: Inflorescence an open, many-flowered cluster, the branches and flower-stalks thread-like, the bracts linear; petals white, 5, 2- to 4-times longer than sepals, clawed, the claws slender, blades diamond- to spoon-shaped; calyces greenish-yellow, bell-shaped, long-soft-hairy, joined to ovary almost to top, the free hypanthium about 0.5 mm long; calyx lobes 5, oblong-egg-shaped, about 2/3 length of lower portion; stamens 5, longer than calyx lobes. [IFBC-E-flora]
Fruits: Capsules, 5-6 mm long, egg-shaped, opening along the beaks; seeds deep brownish-purple, 0.6-0.7 mm long, with lengthwise rows of 25-30 spines. [IFBC-E-flora]


Ecological Indicator Information
A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to subalpine, Western North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in maritime to submaritime cool mesothermal climates on nitrogen-rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing elevation and continentality. Scattered in non-forested communities and open-canopy forests on water-shedding (colluvial) and water-receiving (seepage and stream-edge) sites. Characteristic of Moder and Mull humus forms. [IPBC][E-flora]


Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses


Propagation
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in the middle of spring in an outdoor seedbed and planted out in early summer. Alternatively, you can sow the seed in an outdoor seedbed in the middle of summer for planting out in the following spring. Division in March or October[1, 111]. It is best to divide the plants in August or early September, making sure that the woody roots are planted quite deeply with only the crown of foliage above the ground[233]. [PFAF]


Cultivation
Succeeds in any good sweet garden soil that does not dry out in spring[1]. Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade[1, 111]. Prefers a well-drained fairly rich and not too heavy soil[111]. Plants are hardy to about -15°c[187]. Apt to hybridize with other members of this genus[111]. This species is probably best treated as a sub-species of H. micrantha. [PFAF]

Groundcover: A good ground cover plant for the woodland garden[200]. Plants should be spaced about 30cm apart each way[208]. [PFAF]


Heuchera Sp.

Species Mentioned;

Hazards

Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Uses


Non-local Species
(Alum root)Heuchera americana - Root is a powerful astringent, used as a wash for wounds and obstinate ulcers. Used in a similar way for sores. The tea is a diarrhea remedy.[Plant Lore]


References


Page last modified on Saturday, April 21, 2018 7:23 PM