Heuchera (/ˈhjuːkɪrə/ HEW-kih-rə[2] or /ˈhɔɪkərə/ HOY-kih-rə[3]) is a genus of largely evergreen[4] perennial plants in the family Saxifragaceae. All species are native to North America except for Heuchera sichotensis, native to the Russian Far East.[5] Common names include alumroot and coral bells.[6]

Heuchera elegans on Mount Wilson in California
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Order: Saxifragales
Family: Saxifragaceae
Genus: Heuchera
L. (1753)
Type species
Heuchera americana

45; see text

  • Holochloa Nutt. (1840)
  • Oreanthus Raf. (1830)
  • Oreotrys Raf. (1832)
  • Yamala Raf. (1837)



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,[7] and Professor at Wittenberg University.[8] 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.[7]

Distribution and habitat


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.[9]

Several alumroots and their crosses are used as ornamental plants.[7]



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.[10] To the Navajo, H. novamexicana was a panacea and a pain reliever.[11] The roots of H. cylindrica had a variety of medicinal uses among the Blackfoot, Flathead, Kutenai, Okanagan, Colville, and Shuswap.[12]



The majority of Heuchera sold for gardens are hybrids of H. americana, such as 'Green Spice'.[13] The original 'Purple Palace' discovered in a palace in England is believed to be a H. micrantha × H. villosa hybrid,[14] 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:-



45 species are accepted.[1][26][27][28]

Hybrids include:

  • Heuchera × brizoides


  1. ^ a b c Heuchera L. Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  2. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book. 1995. 606–607.
  3. ^ "heuchera, n.". OED Online. June 2021. Oxford University Press. https://www.oed.com/view/Entry/86545?redirectedFrom=Heuchera (accessed June 16, 2021).
  4. ^ "Heuchera". Archived from the original on 2019-02-09. Retrieved 2016-06-11.
  5. ^ Heuchera sichotensis (Gorovoj & N.S.Pavlova) Zhmylev. Plants of the World Online. Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  6. ^ Phipps, Nikki. "Planting Coral Bells: Tips For Growing The Coral Bells Plant In Your Garden". gardeningknowhow.com. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Heuchera. Flora of North America.
  8. ^ Archibald William Smith A Gardener's Handbook of Plant Names: Their Meanings and Origins , p. 185, at Google Books
  9. ^ Coombs, George (2014). "Heuchera for the Mid-Atlantic Region". Mt. Cuba Center. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  10. ^ Heuchera glabra. Flora of North America.
  11. ^ Heuchera novamexicana. Flora of North America.
  12. ^ Heuchera cylindrica. Flora of North America.
  13. ^ Armitage, Allan M. (2000). Armitage's Garden Perennials. ISBN 9780881924350. Retrieved 2013-04-01 – via Google Books.
  14. ^ Cullina, W. New England Wild Flower Society Guide to Growing and Propagating Wildflowers of the United States and Canada. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2000. ISBN 0-395-96609-4, ISBN 978-0-395-96609-9
  15. ^ "Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  16. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Can-can' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  17. ^ "Heuchera 'Green Spice'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  18. ^ "Heuchera 'Lime Marmalade'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  19. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Magic Wand' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  20. ^ "Heuchera 'Marmalade'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  21. ^ "Heuchera 'Obsidian'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  22. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Purple Petticoats' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 2020-03-19.
  23. ^ "Heuchera 'Regina'". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  24. ^ "RHS Plant Selector Heuchera 'Sashay' AGM / RHS Gardening". Apps.rhs.org.uk. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
  25. ^ "'Walnut' (Fox series)". RHS. Retrieved 27 February 2020.
  26. ^ Heuchera: List of Species. Flora of North America.
  27. ^ Heuchera. USDA PLANTS.
  28. ^ GRIN Species Records of Heuchera. Archived 2015-09-24 at the Wayback Machine Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
  29. ^ a b c d e R. A. Folk & J. V. Freudenstein (2014) Revision of Heuchera Section Rhodoheuchera Subsections Hemsleyanae and Rosendahliae Subsectio Nova (Saxifragaceae). Systematic Botany 39(3): 850-874.
  30. ^ a b R. A. Folk & P. J. Alexander (2015) Two New Species, Heuchera soltisii and H. inconstans, with Further Taxonomic Notes for the Western Group of Heuchera Section Heuchera (Saxifragaceae). Systematic Botany 40(2):489-500.
  31. ^ R. Folk (2013) Heuchera lakelae (Saxifragaceae), a new species from the Sierra La Marta and Sierra Coahuilón, Coahuila and Nuevo León, Mexico. Phytotaxa 124: 37-42.
  32. ^ a b R.A. Folk and J.V. Freudenstein. 2015. "Sky islands" in the eastern U.S.A.? – Strong phylogenetic structure in the Heuchera parviflora group (Saxifragaceae). Taxon 64: 254– 271.
  33. ^ P. J. Alexander (2008) Heuchera woodsiaphila (Saxifragaceae), a new species from the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico. Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 2(1): 447-453.