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Heuchera Heucherella & Tiarella
Heuchera Heucherella & Tiarella are amazing plants, evergreen extremely hardy, with very attractive foliage and, if that wasn’t enough the flowers are great too.
Heuchera Heucherella and Tiarella have so much going for them. One important thing about Heuchera, Heucherella and Tiarella, is that bees love them so that’s a really good reason to grow them. You can grow Heucheras, Heucherellas, and Tiarella in almost any situation. Great for growing in borders, woodland, slopes, containers, and hanging baskets. There are Heucheras to suit every position. You just have to make sure that if your garden is sunny you only pick ones that love the sun. Gardens in dappled shade are the luckiest ones as most Heuchera Heucherella & Tiarella will grow very well in that aspect. You can even grow some Heuchera Heucherella & Tiarella in deep shade Heuchera ‘Citronelle’ is a good one for that position. Heucheras will also stand periods of drought.
Heuchera are named after the Austrian medic Johann Heinrich von Heucher who was born in 1677 and died in 1747. Carl Linnaeus gave Heucheras their name in 1753. Heucheras are native to North America. The North American Indians used to use Alum root as it is also know for medicine. Alum, which is extracted from the root of the Heuchera, is an astringent. It was used by the North American Indians to help to stop bleeding and aid indigestion. They would also use Alum root for dyeing their wools and for tannin of animal skins. So as you can see Heucheras were very useful to the Indians of North America, and the settlers. Sadly many species Heuchera have been threatened by extensive lumbering in their native area. Heucheras, Heucherella & Tiarella are all members of the Saxifragaceae family. There is something like sixty species, exact number seems to vary from book to book.
Of course Heuchera & Tiarella have come a long way from their native species, and now we have a cornucopia of foliage and flower colours. The first noted breeder of Heuchera was Lemoine in the 19th century. Lemoine’s Heuchera breeding program was based around improving the flowers. Then Alan Bloom from Bressingham in Norfolk also did lots of hybridizing with Heucheras. Alan Bloom gave us some beautiful varieties many of which are still available today, such as Heuchera ‘Firebird’. Charles & Martha Oliver from ‘The Primrose Path Nursery’ USA has done lots of Heuchera & Tiarella breeding too. He has bred some of the smaller varieties like Heuchera ‘Petite Marbled Burgundy’ & Heuchera ‘Petite Pearl Fairy’, amongst others. More recently Dan Heims from ‘Terra Nova Nurseries’ with his team of breeders in America started an new explosion of Heuchera, Heucherella, and Tiarella, this time mainly for their foliage. Heucheras Like ‘Marmalade’ & ‘Berry Smoothie’, one of the latest Heuchera ‘Paprika’ coming later in 2012. We have breeders in Europe too who are doing a great job and coming up with wonderful new varieties.Thierry Delabroye Heuchera breeder from France has brought us Heuchera ‘Caramel’ and ‘Tiramisu’ to name a couple that have fabulous foliage colour. Dirk Scheys Heuchera breeder from Belgium has also bred some beautiful varieties such as Heuchera ‘Blackout’ and ‘Binoche’ among others.
Tiarella, otherwise known as ‘Foam Flower’. These are beautiful shade loving plants with attractive foliage usually green sometime variegated with a darker bar down the centre. In a lot of varieties they have lobed shaped leaves, although there are some that heart shaped leaves too. Their flowers are usually white or pink and are very frothy, hence their common name ‘Foam flower’. Tiarella is another North American native. Their natural habitat is woodland enjoying dappled shade. They grow very well in the UK under trees and difficult shady places. Tiarellas will with stand periods of drought too. There are many different varieties of Tiarella some trail and are great for ground cover other, Tiarella stay in neat compact mounds. All are extremely hardy to -25C and they are evergreen to about -15C, after that they can sometimes go dormant so don’t throw them away as they will come back.
Heucherella is another genus and has no natural habit. It is a man made plant a result of crossing two genres Heuchera and Tiarella. Hence the name Heucherella which is a mix of the two names. Heucherella have fabulous maple shaped, dissected foliage often with darker baring down the centre, which is the breeding from the Tiarella. The Heuchera input to the cross is the colour. Many Heucherellas have beautiful coloured leaves like Heucheras. Lots of people don’t realise that they are in fact a different genre, usually the leaf shape gives it away on closer inspection. Heucherellas will also stand periods of drought.