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January 2021 Conservation Feature

Heuchera for Winter Foliage

In the depths of winter I sometimes feel that I have to do what the plants are doing, just keep ticking over until the nights get shorter, the days get warmer and there is a sniff of spring in the air. But I was reminded lately that even in winter, our plants have something to offer. There is often a subtle beauty to them that is not obvious in high summer. Foliage patterns and colours show up more. Many of the Conservation Scheme plants have this quality. 

With three very different Heuchera in the scheme there is a nice mix of winter colour. The leaves of Heuchera ‘Burgundy Frost’ are sharply lobed, almost hand-shaped. It does best in dryish conditions with some shade. A slow grower, it may need extra care and attention, but the attractive silvery leaves with purple undertones make it a lovely plant in the garden.

Heuchera ‘Burgundy Frost

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heuchera ‘David’ has more rounded leaves, dark green with purple tones and purple-red on the underside. This Heuchera is very hardy, doing fine in cold temperatures, but it doesn’t like water logging. It does well in a scree garden. 

Heuchera ‘David’ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Heuchera sanguinea ‘Snowflakes’ is quite different, light green leaves with some mottling. This one likes moisture and semi-shade, so doesn’t do well in full sun. It seems to need a bit more shelter than other Heuchera. Harsh winter weather can set plants back, but that light foliage in winter lightens up the dark earth and dull colours of nearby plants.

Heuchera sanguinea ‘Snowflakes
Sally Adams Posted by Sally Adams

Sally joined the Hardy Plant Society in the autumn of 2001, but only as a national member at first. She eventually joined the Essex group and was quickly co-opted onto the committee as Group Secretary. About the same time she also took on the job of Database Administrator for the Conservation Scheme. She worked with various co-ordinators on the scheme for several years, but by 2013 she needed to step down. Now retired, she continues to be the Essex Group Secretary, and divides her time between her small back garden and her allotment, which is where all those spare seedlings end up. 

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