With large, evergreen to semi-evergreen, maplelike leaves that are a light green with a tint of purple or bronze, hairy alumroot is often selected for ground cover. Long flowering stems topped with clusters of fuzzy, white to light pinkish flowers rise above the foliage from midsummer to late summer. It is the latest blooming Heuchera species. Preferring light shade in moist, well-drained soils, this perennial is at home in a shade garden, rock garden, native garden, pollinator garden, drought-tolerant garden, container, woodland, slope, or bank.
Size and method of spreading:
Hairy alumroot is between 1 ½ to 2 ½ feet tall and 1 to 2 feet wide. It spreads by self-seeding.
Native geographic location and habitat: (include C-value if appropriate)
Hairy alumroot has a native range that includes the Eastern United States.
Attracts birds or pollinators:
Hummingbirds and butterflies are common visitors of hairy alumroot. Hairy alumroot also attracts bees, including a specialist pollinator bee species (Colletes aestivalis).
The leaves of hairy alumroot are velvety and light green colored with a purple or bronze tint. They grow around the base of the plant (basal leaves) and are attached by long, slender stalks (petioles) that are the length of the leaves or longer. Both surfaces of the leaves and the petioles are often covered in long, unmatted hairs (villous). In warmer climates, the foliage of hairy alumroot is evergreen, but the amount of evergreen foliage is temperature dependent in colder climates. The shape of the leaves is similar to maple leaves with a rounded or slightly heart-shaped base (cordate) and seven to nine shallow lobes that have slight serration to the edges (dentate margins).
Hairy alumroot flowers are tiny, fuzzy, tubular, and slightly bell-shaped. The flowers occur in somewhat open-branched clusters (panicles) of individual stalks (pedicels). These branching stalks originate on a long leafless, bronze- or rust-colored center stem (scape) that rises above the foliage. The petals of this species are inconspicuous and not visible as they are surrounded by tubular, leaflike structures (calyxes) covered in villous hair. Protruding from the tip of each calyx are long, stringlike structures, some of which are tipped with orange (stamens) and others that are not (styles). The orange tips (anthers) of the stamens bear pollen. The calyx, petals, and stamens are fused together at their base, forming a cup (hypanthium) around the female reproductive organs (pistils).
The fruit of hairy alumroot are small and dry with a seam where they split to release seeds (capsules). The tips of these capsules have two long, narrow beaks that protrude and diverge from them.
Mulching for the winter can prevent the roots of hairy alumroot from coming out of the ground due to the pressure created by freezing and thawing cycles. Clumps should be divided every three to four years. Hairy alumroot can tolerate full sun, but prefers afternoon shade.
List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:
No major pests or diseases are issues for hairy alumroot. It can tolerate clay soils if they are well-drained, with occasional drought, heat, and humidity. Hairy alumroot can also be deer and rabbit resistant.