Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Best of the Coralbells- So Far!

Photo: Heuchera villosa natural purple leaved form
The Heuchera x villosa coralbell revolution has been upon us for nearly a decade. Many new hybrid coralbells have been introduced. This southern Appalachian native coralbell exhibits exceptional heat, humidity and drought tolerance. You find hairy alumroot growing in dry shade and partially sunny areas.

This is a report card on the hairy alumroot hybrid cultivars. Listening to other gardeners and observing their performance in my garden, 'Mocha' (dark coffee colored foliage), 'Citronelle' (bright yellow) and 'Caramel’ (dark peachy yellow), have earned my highest recommendations among the colorful large foliage types.

I continue to watch 'Tiramisu', with its medium-sized, yellow with red splotched leaves. It has yet to impress me. However, gardening friends urge me to wait another year "before throwing in the trowel".

I also grow the pale green leaf, mid-summer blooming 'Autumn Bride'. A cloud of tiny white flowers hovers over the plant foliage in August. I see it used en masse as a late summer bedding plant in public gardens around the Philadelphia, PA area.

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