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Heuchera maxima ‘Island Alum Root’ (CA Native)

This week, we’re excited to introduce a native plant that’s endemic to the Channel Islands off the coast of Southern California – Heuchera maxima! (or “Island Alum Root’).

Heuchera is prized for its handsome foliage and delicate flowers and this native has a lot of beauty to boast. H. maxima has lovely dark green lobed leaves in a roundish heart shape. The foliage clusters can grow 1-2ft high and spread 3-4ft or more. It produces hundreds of small whitish or pinkish blossoms that last a long time (early spring into summer).

H. maxima is a perennial in the saxifrage family. In the wild, you can find them growing on cliffsides or in shady woods and canyons. Out of all the heucheras, this species is said to be the most adaptable and vigorous of the alum roots. Plant them in full sun in cooler climates or bright shade. In warmer regions, they do best with afternoon shade or northern exposure. They thrive under evergreen oaks. They grow best in humus-rich soil with good drainage and moderate to regular watering. You can cut it back heavily to stimulate fresh growth.

You can plant them as a border and along pathways. In container compositions, they are excellent fillers and add a nice charm to woodland gardens. They make a wonderful groundcover, especially planted en masse. Like many natives, the blossoms attract hummingbirds and are drought tolerant. Deer also tend to avoid them.

We currently have H. maxima available in gallons with more to come later in the season!

The Sunset Western Garden zones are 15-24.


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