The best native Heuchera selections of H. villosa and H. Americana hybrids for landscapes as ranked by the Mt. Cuba Center.
(2014) Report published by Mt. Cuba Center. Heuchera, the royalty of dry shade landscapes, add colorful foliage for visual interest and insect friendly flowers to difficult landscape beds. Since plants are nearly evergreen in many regions, they also have increased landscape functionality since foliage can intercept rainfall in winter too.
Mt. Cuba Center, Hockessin (near Wilmington), Delaware (zone 7a/6b) evaluated 83 cultivars derived from two Eastern US natives, Heuchera Americana and H. villosa. Plants were tested under 60% shade for three years from 2012 to 2014. Plantings were irrigated in only the first year. Winning cultivars were selected based on the totality of their three-year performance.
Top 10 picks
- Citronelle (14” H x30” W)
- Cajun Fire (9” H x 22” W)
- H. villosa Bronze Wave (18” H x 38”W)
- Color Dream (12” H x 28” W)
- Steel City (12” H x30” W)
- Caramel (15” H x30” W)
- Apple Crisp (6” H x12” W)
- Frosted Violet (14” H x 34” W)
- Southern Comfort
- Spellbound (12” H x 30” W)
Note that heuchera must have well drained soils. In the mid-Atlantic, plants normally have two foliage flushes, one in the spring and another in late summer.
Mt. Cuba’s 500-acre garden is open to the public from April to October. Their trials of native species and their cultivars provide evaluations of horticultural and ecological value. The garden is currently evaluating Coreopsis spp., Monarda spp., Baptisia spp. and Phlox spp.