HARDY PERENNIALS: HEUCHERELLA

This stands for the cross between Heuchera and Tiarella, and it has produced the pretty carpeted H. tiarelloides, with golden green foliage 6 inches high and 10-12 inches spikes of light pink in May and June. This is an easy and useful plant, but the cross also yielded H. ‘Bridget Bloom1, a much choicer subject for good light soil and a little shade. The foliage’ is domed and very compact and where happy it sends up a long succession of flower sprays giving an overall affect of light pink, from individual flowers which contain both white and pink. Quite often this will flower from May to July and again in September or October. It is a plant worth fussing over a little, adding some leafy or peaty soil where heavy and dividing when need be in August-September. The story behind this plant is worth telling, Percy Piper is on the staff at Bressingham and whether or not tips from me lead him to experiment with crossing different plants he cannot resist ‘fiddling’ as he calls it with plants that appeal to him. In this case he tried more than once to cross a recently discovered species Tiarella wherryi with one of the many improved Heucheras which had already been introduced. For two seasons no seedlings appeared from this artificial bege-neric cross. The third year he tried again by planting one close to the other and from the few seeds which set, fertilised by bees, one plant only appeared next spring and this was it. After that it took 5 years to work up a stock sufficient to offer, since such ‘nude’ hybrids do not set seed.

HEUCHERA 'Scintillation'

HEUCHERELLA ‘Bridget Bloom’

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