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Heuchera – Fairy Flowers, Alum Root, Coral Bells
Heucheras are among the most desirable of the smaller growing plants. There are many varieties worth growing. Of these, Heuchera sanguinea is most often seen. The plants are compact, bushy and grow in tufts, the flower stems growing 11/2 feet or 2 feet high. The evergreen leaves look like those of a Geranium. From a mass of ornamental foliage rise graceful spikes covered with pendent flowers which assume the size. of Lily of the Valley bells, of a bright coral-crimson color. It blooms about the middle of the Summer. Catalogs list white, creamy, purple and rose-colored varieties. H. americana, resembling the Foam Flowers and the Mitreworts, is a native of our woods.
UTILIZE. Small clumps of Heucheras are very attractive when planted by themselves among the shrubbery where their dainty bells will not be outshone by other gay flowers. The foliage is tinted with various maroon markings during the Winter and this makes the plants valuable for the borders. The leaves are also used in vases as accompaniments to other flowers, and the sprays of bloom make excellent cut flowers. Heucheras are perhaps most at home when planted in the rockery where they become robust and the foliage completely covers the rocks.
GENERAL. Moist, rich loam is the best soil in which to grow them. Although the plants grow for a long time in one place, the larger plants tend to grow weak very soon. These should be removed and planted elsewhere about every two years. They refuse to thrive in a stiff, clayey soil.
PROPAGATION. The plants are propagated by division in October, or seeds, which should be sown in March if a greenhouse is available. The seedlings are tiny and need not be transplanted until they attain some size.