The foliage of these two herbaceous perennials make a lovely pair but there is more. Lady’s mantle bursts into bloom in late spring to early summer with a billowing mass of tiny chartreuse flowers that contrast well with the smooth purple leaves of ‘Black Beauty’ coral bells. The leaf shape of lady’s mantle echos the leaf shape of ‘Black Beauty’ coral bells to give give unity. This combination is most effective in cool climates (north of zone 7) where lady’s mantle keeps blooming through the summer and ‘Black Beauty’ holds its color. ‘Black Beauty’ even adds graceful sprays of delicate white flowers. Both plants thrive in sun to part sun to part shade and moist, well-drained soil but need afternoon shade and plenty of water in hot climates.
Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis)
The masses of chartreuse flowers are only part of the charm of lady’s mantle. The round, gray-green leaves which resemble the cloaks worn by women in the Middle Ages, have a scalloped edge and are covered with fine hairs. They are especially appealing after a shower when beads of water cover their surface. The flowers are very small and lack petals but are produced in profusion.
Bloom time: Late spring to early summer; longer in cool climates
Size: 12-24” H 12-24” W
Hardiness: Zones 3-9
Coral Bells (Heuchera) ‘Black Beauty’
The main attraction of ‘Black Beauty’ coral bells is the evergreen leaves which are dark maroon and have wavy margins that give a ruffled look. They add both color and texture to the garden and are attractive all season. Plants quickly grow into attractive clumps and form compact mounds that provide a rich backdrop for the sprays of delicate white flowers that appear in late spring to early summer. Remove spent flowers to extend bloom time.
Bloom Time: Late spring-early summer
Size: 10” H x 16” W; flower stalks 24” H
Hardiness: Zones 4-9