Friday, May 2, 2014

Heuchera Hype


What is all the hype about heuchera? A great response is from Rebecca Sweet's interview with Janet Egger, breeder of Terra Nova Nurseries, a well known US breeder, by asking her what are some of your favorite ways to use heucheras in the garden? Janet Egger responded with "Heuchera are so versatile. They have such a wide range of plant size, leaf size, leaf colors, leaf types. That is what makes them so fun to breed. They look great in containers, as border plants, and in mass. They work great as an understory plant for shrubs."

Silver Streak Heuchera
Heuchera Carnival Silver Streak - NEW!

Many breeders have seen the potential for this genus, from Dan Heims, President of Terra Nova to Thierry Delabroye, a French breeder, to the breeders at Darwin Perennials with the new heat tolerant Carnival series. Retailers now have numerous species to provide attractive foliage and airy flower panicles to a perennial border, native plant garden, rock garden, open woodland garden or shade garden. All of the heucheras mentioned here are of villosa parentage, originating from Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee, which explains the heat and humidity tolerance.

Caramel Heuchera
Heuchera Caramel was the first member of Thierry (pronounced Cherry) Delabroye's H. villosa collection, the only yellow-leafed seedling to come from H. villosa 'Autumn Bride'. The golden caramel colored leaves grow to 10" and the plant will spread 18-24". White flowers are held above the foliage and blooms early to mid summer, re-blooming if deadheaded. In the fall, the foliage turns bright salmon-peach and its evergreen nature adds winter interest to the landscape.

A quick background about the genus heuchera (Hoy-ker-uh). Carl Linnaeus named heuchera in honor of his friend, Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677-1747). Villosa derives from the Latin word villosus soft, hairy. The species is native to North America and does best in sun to partial shade, in well-drained, organic to humus rich soil. It is best to add peat to break up hard clay. Coral bells and alumroot are common names for heuchera.

Carnival Peach Parfait Heuchera
Heuchera Carnival Peach Parfait - NEW!
Beautiful peach-pink foliage, shows silver in cooler temperatures, keep in shade to avoid sunburn.

Carnival Watermelon Heuchera
Heuchera Carnival Watermelon - NEW!
Peach-pink new growth maturing to bronze-green. Very stunning in cooler temperatures.

I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek of our spring ready heuchera crops in production in Ottawa. Heuchera is one of those fantastic foliage plants that can be easily incorporated into any landscape. We will have crops ready in the upcoming weeks in time for your spring sales including Carnival Cocomint and Carnival Plum Crazy.
By Sheila Balaun, Inventory and Customer Service

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