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Graham Rice's New Plants Blog

Graham Rice Garden writer and plantsman Northamptonshire and Pennsylvania

Editor-in-Chief of the RHS Encyclopedia of Perennials; writer for a wide range of newspapers and magazines including The Garden and The Plantsman; member of the RHS Herbaceous Plant Committee and Floral Trials Committee; author of many books on plants and gardens.

  • Date Joined: 18 Oct 2006

Two new heucheras from America

Posted by Graham Rice on 30 Jul 2012 at 02:03 PM

Heuchera 'Delta Dawn' (left) and 'Spellbound'. Images ©terra Nova Nurseries
As the flow of exciting new Heuchera varieties continues, this year two new introductions from America stand out. Both are from the breeding work of Terra Nova Nurseries in Oregon, the company that has done so much to revolutionise what had become little more than an unfashionable cut flower.

Now, of course, it’s foliage that is to the fore – foliage that lasts the whole year and often changes with the seasons.

‘Delta Dawn’ (above left, click to enlarge) certainly changes as the months go buy. Its bold, rounded, gently lobed leaves are red in spring with a golden yellow rim, the colouring retreating to red veins in summer and the older foliage becoming green with a faint red stain.

This is a compact variety, reaching about 8in/20cm high and 12in/30cm across, the creamy white flowers are held just a few inches above the foliage in summer. This is a splendid container plant, or can be used at the front of partially shaded borders. It takes summer heat unusually well – when necessary….

‘Spellbound’ (above right, click to enlarge) is a different creature altogether, making a big bold clump 16in/40cm high and 14in/35cm wide. The foliage is also very different, silver with ruffled edges and dark veins, and with reddish purple margins to the leaves – especially in spring. That reddish colouring also covers the backs of the leaves. As is the case with ‘Delta Dawn’, the white flowers add little to the display.

Dramatic as a specimen, try two in matching terracotta pots at the top of some partially shaded steps – but never let the plants dry out.

You can buy Heuchera ‘Delta Dawn’ from these RHS Plantfinder nurseries.

You can buy Heuchera ‘Spellbound’ from these RHS Plantfinder nurseries.

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