Plants - Perennials

Plant profile: Heuchera

These once-neglected native plants have become perennial favourites for their flamboyant foliage.

Over the past 20 years, the genus Heuchera (pronounced HOY-kher-ah) has gone from a little-known native plant to one of the hottest genera on the market. Used as flamboyantly coloured groundcovers and luminous accent plants in herbaceous borders to stand-alone containers, there’s a heuchera for every purpose– so much so that it’s hard to imagine a modern garden without them. Most easy-to-grow heucheras prefer to be sited in partial shade (an eastern exposure is perfect) while others tolerate full sun or deep shade.

'Havana' photography courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries

Plant profile: Heuchera
When I studied horticulture, there were only about a dozen varieties of heuchera available commercially; but now, just two decades on, there are hundreds. Some have showy flowers (greenish-white, white, pink and red), but like hostas, it’s the leaves that gardeners prize. Heuchera foliage comes in a rainbow of vivid shades, and, unlike the transitory flowers of most perennials, the leaves provide dependable, glowing colour in the garden (gold, orange, red, bronze, pink and purple to almost black) all season long.

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