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Luscious Foliage

Coral bells have gorgeous foliage that present endless possibilities.

Coral bells

Photo: Ghislain118 (Wikimedia Commons)

Heuchera 'Ginger Ale'.

Heuchera is the botanical name for coral bells, and there are so many varieties nowadays with gorgeous foliage that they present endless possibilities for creative placement in gardens.

One called ‘Cinnamon Curls’ grows into a round mound of glossy ruffled leaves. The leaves have a luscious mix of orange, red, and purple on top and red underneath. With this variety, it’s the foliage that matters, as the flowers are an insignificant part of the 8-to-12-inch-tall plants. They grow in zones 4 through 9 and are 16 to 20 inches wide and like sun in the north and shade in the south. (‘Cinnamon Curls’ is part of the DOLCE® series of coral bells.)

Another foliage plant that one sees advertised is Heucherella ‘Buttered Rum’. As the name suggests, it has caramel-colored foliage with all-season interest and leaves that are shaped like those of a maple. It produces white spring flowers and the foliage turns rose-red in the fall. ‘Buttered Rum’ Heucherella has a mounded compact habit and grows 7 inches high and 15 inches wide. This variety is cold, heat, and humidity tolerant in zones 4 through 9, and it likes sun in the north and shade in the south.

[Note: Another handsome Heucherella is ‘Copper Cascade’ that has small leaves and trailing stems and rosy copper-colored leaves year-round. It grows in sun or shade in zones 4 through 9 and makes a lovely ground cover.]

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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