Heuchera Research

Ryan Folk
The Ohio State University

Heuchera, alum roots or coral bells, though grown in European gardens long before the time of Linnaeus, have recently seen extensive horticultural use. This new interest is likely inspired by a deluge of artficial hybrids and tissue culture sports that display colors and patterns unfamiliar in more traditional foliage perennials. Its wild relatives, likewise known for promiscuous hybridization in the past, remain poorly known and seldom cultivated. 

Despite popular interest in Heuchera, some of the more local species have no images online, and many more species are represented largely by misidentified images. Unfortunately the intense interest in cultivating unhybridized species that obtains in orchids has not found its way to some other plant groups.

This website maintains photographs that were taken by Ryan Folk during a stint as a PhD student at The Ohio State University. Heuchera species are difficult to tell apart, so it is hoped that this website will be found useful for clarifying species identification, both for specialists and for gardeners.

Locality reports and identification requests are welcome and have sometimes proved useful for my own research.

Heuchera sanguinea

Heuchera pubescens