Also called roundleaf alum, this evergreen herbaceous perennial is a member of the saxifraxge family, Saxifragaceae, that also includes astilbe, bergenia, and tiarella. It is native to northwestern North America from British Columbia and Alberta to northern California and northern Nevada, east to Wyoming and Montana where it grows in rocky areas on cliff-sides and slopes, and in woods and sub-alpine meadows. Plants produce a 6″ tall basal mound of ovate to heart-shaped leaves that are leathery, hairy and dark green. Each leaf is 6-8″ long and has 5-7 blunt, toothed lobes. Small cream to greenish bell-shaped flowers appear in dense panicles on leafless stems well above the foliage and up to 35″ tall from late spring to summer. Plants like full sun to partial shade but must have moist soil when grown in full sun and some shade where summers are hot. Both flowers and leaves are good in the vase. A good choice for ground cover, rock garden or border. The genus name, Heuchera, honors Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677-1747) a botanist, physician, and medicinal plant expert at Wittenberg University, Germany. The specific epithet, cylindrica, comes from the Latin word cylindrus meaning roller or cylinder and refers to the round leaves. The common name poker alumroot comes from the resemblance of the flower spikes to a poker. The common name roundleaf alumroot refers to the shape of the leaves.
Type: Evergreenherbaceous perennial
Bloom: Panicles of small cream to greenish bell-shaped flowers from late spring to summer
Size: 2-3′ H x 1″ W 1′
Light:Full sun to partial shade
Soil:Organically rich, medium moist, well-drained
Hardiness: Zones 3-8
Care: Deadhead to prolong bloom time; divide when crown becomes woody; mulch in cold climates to avoid heaving.
Pests and Diseases: None of significance
Propagation: Seed, division in fall
Companion Plants:Sweet woodruff, martagon lily, ajuga
‘Greenfinch’ (greenish yellow flowers)
‘Green ivory’ (whitish flowers with green base)
‘Hyperion’ (deep pink flowers
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons