Botanical Name : Heuchera cylindrica
Species: H. cylindrica
Common Names: Alum Root, Roundleaf alumroot, Alpine alumroot, Beautiful alumroot, Poker alumroot , Coral bells
Habitat: Heuchera cylindrica is native to N. America – British Columbia to California and east to Nevada, Wyoming and Montana. It grows on the streambanks and wet rocky places. Rocky soils, cliffs and talus slopes.
Heuchera cylindrica is an evergreen Perennial plant, growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It has oval to round leaves. these are often lobed or toothed. Flowers are in a spike on an erect leafless stem which can reach up to 35 inches in height. Flowers are bell-shaped and can be pale yellow, cream, green or pink.. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by Bees.
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Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Succeeds in any good sweet garden soil that does not dry out in spring. Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade. Prefers a well-drained fairly rich and not too heavy soil. Plants are hardy to about -20°c. Closely related to H. chlorantha, it is apt to hybridize with other members of this genus. A very ornamental plant, a number of named forms have been selected for their ornamental value. The subspecies H. cylindrica glabella has been specifically mentioned for its use as a mordant.
Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked and eaten.
The whole plant, but especially the roots, is astringent. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of diarrhoea and stomach cramps. Externally, a decoction is used as a wash on aching joints. A poultice of the mashed peeled roots is used in treating rashes, sores and cuts. When mixed with the spores of puffballs, it has been used as a salve for treating nappy rash.
The root can be used as an alum substitute, this is a mordant that is used in fixing dyes. The root is rich in tannin and it has been suggested that this is the mordant. A good ground cover plant for the woodland garden. Plants should be spaced about 30cm apart each way.
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