Heuchera 'Blackout' 

Blackout coralbells, Heuchera    Perennial of the Month-- January 2014 Perry caricature

 (pronunciation at link)  (hue' ker-ah)

Common name:  Blackout coralbells

Family:  Saxifrage, Saxifragaceae

Height x width: 8-12" x 15-18"

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

Foliage: glossy, rounded to 2.5in. wide, rounded lobes, almost black, flat with no waves or curling on edges; dark purple petioles (leaf stems), 

Flowers:  small white bell-shaped in open panicles up to 10in. high, early summer

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, good powdery mildew resistance, may frost heave with fluctuating winter soil temperatures

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: leaves slightly darker than 'Obsidian' and more vigorous; found by Diederik Scheys in Belgium in 2006 in a trial garden of seedling plants derived from 'Prince'

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:  home, divide clumps in spring every 3-4 years; PP20613 so by licensed propagators commercially

Sources:  many online and local specialty nurseries

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