Author(s): Charles Oliver
Native to the United States, Heuchera are also known as 'coral bells'. They thrive from north to south, east to west and produce stunning foliage plants with tall, airy flowers in pink, coral, red or white. The foliage may be so colourful and ornately shaped that you will be more than happy if they never bloomed. Added to that, they grow very well in shade. It is an outstanding plant that only now is becoming fully appreciated especially with the arrival of new cultivars and hybrids, such as 'Amber Waves' and 'Purple Palace'. Fully illustrated with colour photography, this first book on the subject covers: Introduction: Heucheras and related genera (including Tiarella, x Heucherella and Mitella); Overview of range of forms; Geography and ecology; Suitability as garden plants; Outstanding qualities Use in garden by type: Outstanding cultivars of different types and appropriate companions; Alpines; Border forms; Woodland garden; Landscape; Cut flowers Cultivation: Requirements for growth; Propagation; Soil and sun exposure; Feeding; Growing from seed, cuttings, division and tissue culture Horticultural history: Breeders and their plants; Origins of present-day forms Genetics and morphology: Traits and morphology in relation to garden-worthiness Breeding: Trends; Expression and combination of traits; What makes a good garden plant (trial criteria) Annotated list of garden-worthy wild species and selected cultivars
Martha and Charles Oliver live in western Pennsylvania and run The Primrose Path nursery. Charles has been greatly involved in the Heuchera hybridization work, combining garden forms with wild species to create such bronze-leaved forms as 'Palace Purple' and 'Montrose Ruby'. For the introduction of over 60 new plants to the trade, he was given the Marcel LePiniec Award in 1998 by the North American Rock Garden Society. Martha teaches at the Ornamental Horticulture and Landscape Studies at Chatham College. She has written on horticulture for The New York Times, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening Magazine.