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Heuchera 'Obsidian' PP14836 COPF

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Photo Courtesy of Walters Gardens, Inc.
 Common Name: Coral Bells

Obsidian is the result of volcanic lava coming in contact with water. This process results in a glassy finish. Heuchera 'Obsidian' PP14836 exhibits this same glassy sheen and is closer to black than any other heuchera. The surface and edges of the rounded leaves are so smooth they look like they have been polished. Their undersides are deep purple and exhibit the same glassy finish.

Though this selection is grown mainly for its unusual foliage, its ornamental value is enhanced by the 24 inch tall scapes which bear smoky purple buds that open to cream flowers.

This selection forms a very compact, tight mound of foliage, making it ideal as an edging or in containers. It's fabulous when paired with brightly colored flowers and foliage in the garden. This new variety is destined to become a favorite!

Coral bells are easy to grow and blend easily with most other perennials in the landscape. Because of their low, mounding habit, they are often used as edging along paths or in containers.

Breeder: Dan Heims

Introducer: Terra Nova Nurseries

Origin: Native Cultivar

Characteristics:



Height:
  10 Inches
Spread:
  12-16 Inches
Flower Color:
  White Shades
Foliage Color:
  Purple shades
Hardiness Zone:
4,5,6,7,8,9
Find Your Zone
Sun or Shade?:
  Full sun (> 6 hrs. direct sun)
  Part shade (4-6 hrs. direct sun)
  Full shade (< 4 hrs. direct sun)
Wet or dry?:
  Average water needs
Want to see wings?:
  Attracts butterflies
  Attracts hummingbirds
Need critter resistant plants?:
  Deer resistant
How fast should it grow?:
  Medium
When should it bloom?:
  Late spring
  Early summer
  Midsummer
Looking for seasonal interest?:
  Evergreen (in some or all zones)
How's your soil?:
  Average Soil
  Fertile Soil
Sweet or Sour Soil?:
  Acidic Soil (pH < 7.0)
  Neutral Soil (pH = 7.0)
What's your garden style?:
  Container/Patio
  Formal
  Eclectic

Attributes:

Border plants
Container
Cut flower or foliage
Edging
Evergreen
Mass Planting
Salt Tolerant
Specimen or focal point
Easy to grow

Homeowner Growing & Maintenance Tips:

Heucheras are easy perennials to grow and fit nicely in the front of any border, rock garden, or container. They grow most vigorously and have the stongest colors when grown in partial shade (preferably afternoon shade). They can also be grown in full shade but their growth rate will be very slow. Some varieties can withstand full sun in northern climates if they have consistant moisture, but their colors tend to fade with the intensity of the sun. The soil should be amended with organic matter prior to planting. It should also have good drainage and a neutral pH.

Heucheras are evergreen in areas with mild winters. If properly sited out of the way of winter winds and with reliable snow cover, gardeners in northern regions may also find their heucheras acting as evergreens. If the plant looks tattered by early spring, shear off any damaged leaves to make room for the vibrant new foliage which will fill in quickly.

Heucheras can be grown under Black Walnut trees because they are resistant to the toxin Juglone which the trees emit from their roots.

Heucheras are also salt tolerant. They are useful in the north along pathways which are salted in winter or for people gardening in coastal regions. Occasionally in northern regions, heucheras have a tendancy to heave out of the ground because of the freeze/thaw cycle. To combat heaving, add an extra layer of compost around the plant's roots in the fall. In the spring, if the plants have heaved at all, the new roots will grow into the fresh new layer of compost.


Companions:

Common/Botanical Name
Zones  
Alchemilla mollis
Common Name: Lady's Mantle
3,4,5,6,7
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Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola'
Common Name: Grass-Ornamental
5,6,7,8,9
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Athyrium felix-forma 'Lady in Red'
Common Name: Fern-Lady
3,4,5,6,7,8
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Hosta 'Remember Me'
Common Name: Hosta
3,4,5,6,7,8,9
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Tiarella 'Sugar and Spice' PP16738 COPF
Common Name: Foamflower
4,5,6,7,8,9
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Viola 'Painted Porcelain'
Common Name: Violet-Tufted
5,6,7,8
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While every effort has been made to describe this plant accurately, please keep in mind that the height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates throughout the country. The description of this plant was written based on our experience growing it in Michigan (USDA hardiness zone 5) and on numerous outside resources.