About this cultivar:
Heuchera 'Obsidian' is a compact, mound-forming perennial, with distinctive lobed, glossy leaves, reddish-black in spring, darkening to near-black as they mature. Racemes of small creamy flowers are borne above the leaves in summer on dark reddish stems. FYI: Obsidian is a dark coloured to black volcanic glass that is often used as a gemstone.
Has the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM).
- Position: Full sun, partial shade
- Soil: Almost any soil
- Flowers: July, August
- Other features: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM), Interesting Foliage or Fruit, Suitable for Container
- Hardiness: H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C), Fully hardy
- Habit: Clump forming
- Foliage: Semi evergreen
- Height: 15 - 45 cm (0.5 - 1.5 ft)
- Spread: 15 - 45 cm (0.5 - 1.5 ft)
- Time to full growth: 2 to 5 years
- Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial
- Colour: Purple, black
- Goes well with: -
About this genus:
Heuchera (hoy-ker-a)is a genus of herbaceous perennial plants in the family Saxifragaceae. Native to America, their common names include alumroot and coral bells. The genus was named after Johann Heinrich von Heucher (1677–1746), an 18th-century German physician. There are approximately 37 species, but the taxonomy of the genus is difficult because the species often intergrade with one another (just look at the variation across the genus and you can see why)
Heuchera have been very popular recently, probably because of the multitudes of new cultivars with exciting new leaf colours, variegation patterns, and leaf shapes. Modern heuchera leaf colours include green, chartreuse, yellow, peach, pinkish-red, copper and purple, and every shade in between. Coral Bell leaves are often patterned with contrasting leaf veins in silver, or in a darker shade than the main leaf colour. With so many different foliage variations to choose from it is interesting to think that Heuchera were originally grown for their flowers, Although modern breeders of landscape Heucheras have not focused on the flowers, they are still quite attractive...clusters of dozens of tiny bell-like flowers at the end of a tall wiry stalk during the summer.
Heuchera are best in part shade, but will tolerate a wide range of light levels. Likewise they grow in most soils that aren't too extreme.
We have some light coloured foliage cultivars in our garden at Ballyrobert but the ones we use most are the dark reds and purples (and we pair them with hot colours). As for other combinations; try them planted in a mass or paired with Hosta, Ophiopogon, Phlox and Tricyrtis.