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Common Name: Alum Root
Heuchera diversifolia is a Evergreen Perennial up to 0.60 metres tall.
It is harvested from the wild for local use as a food, medicine and source of materials.
Western N. America - British Columbia to California
Moist banks of humus and rocks in woodland below 600 metres, from British Columbia to California. Gravelly banks and rock crevices from low elevations to the sub-alpine zone[
Succeeds in any good sweet garden soil that does not dry out in spring[
]. Prefers full sun but tolerates partial shade[
]. Prefers a well-drained fairly rich and not too heavy soil[
Plants are hardy to about -15°c[
Apt to hybridize with other members of this genus[
This species is probably best treated as a sub-species of H. micrantha.
Young leaves - cooked. Not very palatable[
The root is antiphlogistic, antiseptic, astringent, febrifuge and ophthalmic[
The root can be used as an alum substitute, this is a mordant used in fixing dyes[
]. The root is rich in tannin, is this the active ingredient that acts as a mordant?[
A good ground cover plant for the woodland garden[
]. Plants should be spaced about 30cm apart each way[
Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.
The seed can also be sown in the middle of spring in an outdoor seedbed and planted out in early summer.
Alternatively, you can sow the seed in an outdoor seedbed in the middle of summer for planting out in the following spring.
Division in early spring or early autumn[
]. It is best to divide the plants in August or early September, making sure that the woody roots are planted quite deeply with only the crown of foliage above the ground[