Heuchera sanguinea

Heuchera is a classic cottage garden perennial, related to Tellima and Tiarella. A popular low growing herbaceous border plant, loved for its attractive foliage and spires of delicate flowers.

Family: Saxifragaceae
Botanical Name: Heuchera (hew-ker-ah)
Common Names: Coral bells, coral flower, alum root.

Foliage: Semi evergreen, palmately lobed leaves. Fully evergreen in warm winter climates. Normally green but modern cultivars are continuously been bred to produce colourful leaves in an increasing range of patterns and colours.

Flowers: Short spikes of tiny bell-shaped flowers, in shades of red, pink, white, green and yellow, depending on variety.

Flowering Period: June-September.

Soil: Moist but well-drained, fertile soil (sand or loam). Neutral pH.

Conditions: Full sun or partial shade. Can be planted in any aspect.

Habit: Clump forming, low growing, spreading.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: North and Central America.

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Heuchera

Plant in the spring in a humus rich, garden soil that does not dry out in summer. Fun sun or partial shade. Easy to grow and reasonably drought-resistant once established.

Ideal for spreading ground cover, flowerbeds or front of the border. Some of the more colourful compact forms make ideal container plants.

The airy clusters of flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects.

Long stemmed forms are a useful source of flowers.

Taking Care of Heuchera

Water well in dry weather. Divide established clumps every three or four years in the spring.

They tend to lift themselves out of the ground after a few years. In which case, either mulch or lift and replant.

Pruning Heuchera

Remove spent flower spikes to encourage more. Cut back old foliage and flower stalks in autumn.

Pests and Diseases

Susceptible to attack by vine weevils and eelworm. Leaves can be affected by rust and mildew.

Propagating Heuchera

Sow seed outdoors in prepared a seed bed around June-July. Named varieties can be divided in spring.

Popular Varieties of Heuchera

Heuchera 'Amethyst Myst' bears purple leaves with silver accents and red undersides that form neat clumps from which rise dainty sprays of white flowers on tall wiry stems. For sale at Van Meuwen.

Heuchera 'Berry Smoothie' has attractive pink foliage with red veins that slowly deepens to burgundy in autumn. Bears creamy white flowers in summer. Height 18in (45cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Heuchera Black Pearl produces striking furrowed black foliage with ruffled edges. White flowers with pink petals above wiry stems appear in summer. Height 18in (45cm). For sale at Suttons.

Heuchera 'Can Can' forms a dense mound of purple-red leaves which are intricately marbled with slate-grey veins. The foliage is deeply ruffled giving glimpses of the bright purple underside of each leaf. For sale at Van Meuwen.

Heuchera cylindrica a compact form with oval to heart shaped leaves and tight clusters of yellow-green to creamy-white flowers. Cultivars include 'Greenfinch' with tall stems of greeny-white flowers.

Heuchera Electra (PBR) striking greenish-yellow foliage colour that changes with the seasons. For sale at Crocus.

Heuchera Fire Alarm (PBR) produces mounds of relatively large orange-red leaves. Topped in summer with sprays of small, pink-tinged white flowers. For sale at Crocus.

Heuchera Forever Red (Forever Series) bears leaves in a rich glossy red, the intensity of which changes throughout the season. For sale at Crocus.

Heuchera Frilly Plants a compact variety with attractive frilly leaves in a warm caramel colour with a darker pink underneath. For sale at Suttons.

Heuchera Georgia has large, silvery-peach leaves with attractive veins and sprays of white flowers in summer. Height 14in (35cm), spread 20in (50cm). For sale at Suttons.

Heuchera Lime Marmalade more tolerant of the sun than other lime green varieties. Small white flowers on wiry stems in summer. Height 16in (40cm), spread 18in (45cm). For sale at Suttons.

Heuchera 'Melting Fire' produces curled foliage with firey tones of red and purple. For sale at Van Meuwen.

Heuchera micrantha (crevice alumroot) is a compact form with reddish leaves and creamy white flowers. A range of hybrids are available with colourful leaves, including: 'Palace Purple' with bronze/purple leaves and contrasting white flowers.

Heuchera 'Obsidian' has delicate sprays of creamy white flowers that contrast well with its glossy, deep maroon-black foliage. Height 18in (45cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Heuchera Paprika (PBR) bears large leaves that turn shades of pink, orange and burgundy. For sale at Crocus.

Heuchera 'Pearl Drops' pearly-white flowers.

Heuchera 'Pluie de Feu' (Rain of Fire) crimson flowers.

Heuchera Plum Pudding (PBR) silver dusted, deep purple leaves. For sale at Crocus.

Heuchera 'Prince of Silver' produces a perfect carpet of silver with dark purple veins, topped with delicate sprays of ivory-pink flowers in early summer. For sale at Van Meuwen.

Heuchera 'Rhapsody' glowing pink flowers.

Heuchera sanguinea (coral bells) has pale green palmate leaves, often marbled with silvery-grey, and topped with stems of bright red or pink flowers. Height 12-18in (30-45cm), spread 12in (30cm). Cultivars include:

  • 'Alba' small bell-shaped white flowers in summer.
  • 'Coral Cloud' coral-red/pink flowers.
  • 'Coral Forest' large, showy, intense coral red flowers.
  • 'Coral Petite' compact form with bright Coral pink flowers. Height: 10-30cm.
  • 'Firefly' a bright red flowered form.
  • 'Leuchtkafer' slightly mottled foliage and tiny, open panicles of red flowers.
  • 'Pewter Moon' grey marbled green leaves and pink flowers.
  • 'Red Spangles' scarlet flowers.
  • 'Ruby Bells' small, lightly scented, deep red flowers. For sale at Van Meuwen.
  • 'Scintillation' pink flowers.
  • 'Shere Variety' brilliant scarlet flowers.
  • 'Splendens' neat plant with coral-red flowers.
  • 'White Cloud' long panicles of small pure white flowers.

Heuchera 'Stormy Seas' bears maroon-red curled leaves with a green underside. Topped by spikes of creamy-white flowers in summer. For sale at Van Meuwen.

Heuchera villosa 'Palace Purple' produces neat mounds of purple foliage topped with fine sprays of pale pink flowers in summer. Height and spread to 24in (60cm). For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Heuchera Wild Rose (Primo Series) rich purple foliage colour with darker veins. Bearing sprays of small pink bells in summer. For sale at Crocus.


Hybrid crosses between Tiarella and Heuchera.

Heucherella 'Pink Revolution' is a free-flowering form producing upright stems, crowded with a froth of candy-floss pink blooms over low, spreading attractive foliage. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.

Heucherella 'Solar Power' forms a neat mound of yellowish, lime green leaves mottled with dark red markings that deepen in colour during winter. For sale at Thompson & Morgan.