University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science

Perennial of the Month - December 1999

x Heucherella 'Viking Ship'

(hue-ker-ell' lah)

Common name: Viking Ship Foamy Bells

Family: Saxifragaceae, Saxifrage

Height x width: 18-24" tall x 12-18" wide

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: main feature and attraction of this cultivar, silvery palmate 2-3" across with detached leaflets on stalks (ships going to sea) in spring which drop off later in season (ships gone to sea); purplish in spring

Flowers: spring through early summer, pink on branched stems in panicles, individual flowers small and cup-like as coralbells

Hardiness: 4-9 (may struggle with heat in zones 8-9)

Soil: well-drained, slightly acid, moist

Light: full to half day (morning) especially in South

Pests and problems: generally pest-free except perhaps vine weevils

Landscape habit, uses: fronts of borders, woodland, containers, massed

Other interest: patented from Terra Nova Nurseries, OR and released in 1998; one of few cultivars of popular genus, actually rare combination of two genera-- bigeneric cross of Tiarella (Foam Flower) and Heuchera (Coralbells)

Other culture: Plants easily frost heave as they are shallow-rooted; to avoid, plant crowns 1" below soil surface and mulch. Remove spent flower stalks for prolonged bloom and aesthetics. Avoid heavy clay soils or soils with very acidic pH.

Propagation: tissue culture (flowers are sterile) commercially, vegetative offshoots, patented

Sources: Terra Nova Nurseries, OR, as well as other retail and wholesale growers with extensive or unusual selections, and online catalogs as well

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