What Do You Get When You Cross… (xHeucherella)

A rhinoceros with an elephant?

A Heuchera with a Tiarella?

Let’s answer the second question first: Those two North American native genera pulled off a trick that’s pretty rare in the plant kingdom.

Heuchera (Coral bells) and Tiarella (Foamflower) crossed to form the intergeneric hybrid xHeucherella. The first known example was the work of matchmaking French breeder Emile Lemoine in 1912.

There’s nothing unusual about species within the same genus getting together to form new hybrids. With or without human intervention, it happens all the time. But crossing the genus line within a family is quite unusual. The result here: a striking new genus blending the best traits of each parent.

In modern times, the most striking breeding has come from Terra Nova Nurseries in Oregon. We offer only their introductions.

All are hardy in Zones 4 – 9.

Buttered Rum’PP25040

Deeply-cut leaves emerge caramel-colored, maturing to deep rose red in cool weather.

Height 7 – 10”

‘Peach Tea’PPAF

Peaches and cream! Peachy-red foliage forms tidy clumps under a froth of creamy white spikes.

Height 10 – 16”

‘Solar Eclipse’PP23647

One of the most striking garden plants in any genus, a Wow! variety. As its name implies, each leaf features a dark center ringed by a brightly-contrasting lime green. If you try just one, and you want it to be one that jumps out at you, here it is.

Height 10 – 16”

‘Sweet Tea’PP21296

The tallest of the bunch, this shade-shifter’s leaves start bright, darken in summer and brighten again in fall.

Height 20”

Frowny Face Fact

The only downside in this case of strange bedmates: The lovely offspring is known by an odd mishmash nickname. Coral bells conjures up an image of pink, bell-shaped blooms, and Foamflower accurately evokes frothy panicles. But … what the heck are “foamy bells?” 70s bluejeans in the wash? Let’s stick to the Latin.

Call them whatever you like, but call them yours. Get xHeucherella in easy-planting, quick-finishing 72s from Emerald Coast Growers – the easy choice!

And finally, the answer to the first question: Elephino!