Heuchera  'Frosted Violet'

Frosted Violet coralbells    Perennial of the Month-- January 2013 Perry caricature

(hue' ker-ah) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name:  Frosted Violet coralbells

Family:  Saxifrage, Saxifragaceae

Height x width: 8-12" x 15-18"

Growth rate, habit: moderate, basal rosette, habit similar to villosa cultivars

Foliage: cordate to about 3-4in. wide and long, 7-lobed with acute tips; slightly hairy and rough leaf surfaces; silvery-purple on top and bottom; begin pink-violet in spring and turn dark bluish-violet in winter in mild climates

Flowers:  pink panicles, up to 240 small flowers per flowering stem, stems to 30in. tall; long bloom period June to August in mid-Atlantic region

Hardiness: USDA zones 4-9, AHS heat zones 2-8 

Soil:  average well-drained, moderate moisture, tolerates dry shade once established

Light: full sun to part shade (especially South)

Pests and problems:  none significant, leaf scorch if too much sun with too little water 

Landscape habit, uses:  part shade gardens, groundcover massing, rock gardens, fronts of borders, edging walks, cut flower; combines well with foamflowers, hellebores, astilbe, primroses, silver bugloss, Japanese painted fern

Other interest: bred by Charles Oliver of The Primrose Path (Scottdale, PA) in 1999; 'Silver Lode' was the female parent and 'Bronze Wave' the male

Other culture:  divide clumps every 3-4 years, a mulch around crowns (not on top) after ground freezes in fall may prevent root heaving    

Propagation:  commercially by licensed propagators, PP15,085; home, divide clumps in spring every 3-4 years

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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