The amazing native Coralbells - Heuchera villosa


Native Heucheras have it all!

Heuchera villosa Brownies'

The amazing Heuchera villosa, or hairy alumroot, is a species of coral bells that is native to rocky wooded slopes from Virginia to Missouri.  It is resistant to browsing deer and rabbits and is an excellent substitute for Hosta in shaded/part sun beds. Piet Oudolf uses this a lot.

Villosa is from the Latin meaning ‘velvet’

These plants are tolerant of dry soil in shady conditions but need more regular watering in partial sun.  Good for Dry shade!

It has large, hairy, triangular green leaves that have a velvety texture. It flowers in late summer (perhaps the latest in the genus) and features tiny, whitish flowers in open, airy panicles on slender, wiry stems to 36” tall. Hardy to Zones 4 - 7.

Heucheras are best grown in light shade and partial sun as they tend to bleach out in full sun. Grow in well drained, compost enriched, loamy garden soils (avoid heavy clay). In moist, cold winter climates they do best in raised beds. Many varieties are evergreen in mild winter climates.

 It has no serious insect or disease problems. Its exceptional heat tolerance and vigor makes this a superb plant for containers and perennial borders.

Mass the robust Heuchera villosa as a ground cover or plant in rocky slopes, open woodland gardens, cottage gardens or in native plant areas. It is very effective as an edging plant along walkways.

Here are some great Heuchera villosa cultivars:

'Autumn Bride' hairy alumroot

‘Autumn Bride’ is a cultivar that features large, fuzzy, gray-green leaves which make a bold statement. White flowers appear above the foliage mound on slender stems in late summer and persist to frost and are perfect for cutting. Mounded, semi-evergreen plants can reach 15" tall and serve well as a part sun, woodland groundcover.

 For late season interest, combine with Chelone glabra, Ageratina altissima ‘Chocolate’, Eurybia divaricata, Chrysogonum virginianum, and Carex flaccosperma, Silver Leaved Lamium, variegated Sedges (Carex).

H. villosa ‘Purpurea’ 

For an interesting foliage contrast, plant the purple-leaved H. villosa ‘Purpurea’.

This coralbell has striking burgundy foliage which contrast well against its starry white flowers.  This natural variety of the species is one of the showiest of the Alumroots. Very durable, it looks great all season long!

in Longwood Gardens by Carolyns Shade Gardens

'Bronze Wave' Alumroot

This has a much shinier, almost lacquered looking foliage vs. H. villosa 'Purpurea'. Like it's sister 'Autumn Bride', 'Bronze Wave' is sturdy, perhaps an 18", or a bit larger, clump. September-October flowering spikes of small tan flowers. Excellent shade groundcover that can happily compete with tree roots and come out looking good.

'Citronelle' Coral Bells

Heuchera villosa 'Citronelle' has large, rounded, solid lime-yellow leaves with creamy white spike blooms in late summer. The bright foliage complements dark-foliaged plants and brings the vigor of the villosas to brighten shady areas.


'Caramel' Coral Bells

Heuchera villosa 'Caramel' features large rounded leaves of a warm orange-yellow color. This vigorous clumper brings a warmth to the landscape not seen in other plants. Tiny creamy-white flowers top the 10 inch mound of foliage in late spring.





    1. You always offer something new for me to learn

    2. I am so happy to learn about plants that do well in dry shade and are deer resistant. I loved the Heuchera villosa 'Autumn Leaves' at the High Line. I want to plant some plus the Citronelle.
      Such beautiful colors!
      I always learn something new from your blog! Thanks!

    3. Great tutorial! Now, I can customize a church IPhone Web App. Thanks for this tutorial. I really need it badly.

    4. You garden is looking so beautiful and attractive. I love gardening and have planted many varieties of plants in my garden. Heucheras & hostas also come in my collection. I am thinking to add some more species of heucheras in next season. Thank you for sharing a wonderful post.

    5. I like your post and would like to know more about heuchera.


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