Monday, July 18, 2011

Kindred under the skin?

Idly doing a bit of photography in the garden this evening I was struck by the resemblence between Begonia 'Benichoma' and Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam'.

Begonia 'Benichoma'

Heuchera 'Blackberry Jam'
OK, the begonia has more divided foliage and a more jagged leaf in comparison to the rounded edges of the Heuchera.  But the markings are very similar and both give a nice exotic effect.  They are even both about the same size and like some shade and moisture in the soil.  The big difference?  Well, the Heuchera is hardy almost anywhere in the UK and down to about USDA zone 5 in continental climates.  The begonia is definitely tender (although there are reports of well mulched specimens surviving outside in our milder UK winters).  Summer bedding for shade only - or, as I've got it, as a specimen in my little shade house.

The breeding of an ever increasing range of Heuchera, Heucherella and Tiarella hybrids is certainly adding to the palette of hardy, evergreen perennials with exotically patterned and coloured foliage.  I'm beginning to collect more and more of them - although a glimpse of the range at Heucheraholics tells me I've a long way to go - as edging and underplanting in my borders.  Though it can sometimes be hard to place them.  I'm still debating where to fit x Heucherella 'Stoplight' in - or, more likely, what I can fit around it to make best use of it's exotic colouring.  Looking down on the garden from a bedroom window it's brighter than half the flowers!

Heuchera 'Stoplight'


  1. Hi John - Heuchera is another of those plants that I've discovered via northern hemisphere blogs and am admiring. I'm looking out for them here. They are such lovely "accent" plants with their gorgeous colouring.
    PS: Love your photos!

  2. Been wanting to add 'stoplight' to my collection but no-one round here ever sells it and post prices are a bit high for me. one day though, it will be mine (along with the other 25+ on my heuchera/heucherella wishlist - if only!).

  3. Thanks all - I'm lucky in having a lot of small nurseries locally that carry interesting plants. Only in small numbers but regular visits allow me to pick up interesting things at very reasonable prices. I've got 7 different Heuchera/Heucherella/Tiarella in the garden at the moment - and there's room for lots more.