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Heuchera richardsonii February 2019 Know What You Grow

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Walking the Northshore of Lake Superior I have encounter plants that look like a bowl of salad from it’s rosette of basal leaves.  Heuchera richardsonii (Prairie Alumroot) is a tough native plant of not only Minnesota but ranges form Michigan down to Oklahoma and over to Montana.  Being native to open savannas and prairies I have utilized Prairie Alumroot in mass plantings in partial shade along edges of woodlands since having a cluster shows off their delicate greenish-orange flowers.  If you are looking for a lower growing  that can handle most conditions look no further than Prairie Alumroot.

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BOTANICAL NAME  Heuchera richardsonii

COMMON NAME  Alum Root

DESCRIPTION  Minnesota native clump forming perennial occurring in prairies, woodlands, slopes and uplands.  12-18 inch basal clump of green lobed 2-3 inch wide leaves with some spotting of white or purple.  18-24 inch high panicles of greenish yellow flowers rise above the foliage.

FAMILY  Saxifragaceae

HEIGHT  12-24 inches

WIDTH   12-18 inches

HABIT Mound

ZONES  4 to 9

EXPOSURE Partial Shade

FLOWER COLOR  Green

BLOOM SEASON  June-July

COMPANION PLANTS  Aquilegia (Columbine), Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower), Eutrochium purpureum (Sweet Joe Pye Weed), Rudbeckia hirta (Brown-Eyed Susan), Elymus hystrix (Bottlebrush Grass).

GROWING AND MAINTENANCE TIPS  Well-drained soil with partial shade.  Divide every three to four years if they start to lose vigor.  Winter mulch to help prevent root heaving.  Clean up winter foliage in spring.  Drought tolerant. 

NOTES  Honors two early botanists. Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677-1747) was a botanist and a professor of medicine in Wittenberg, Germany. Sir John Richardson (1787-1865) was a Scottish naturalist who explored boreal and arctic North America and is credited with identifying this plant.

Rock gardens, native plant garden, woodlands.  Dry locations.  Mass planting

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