Heuchera richardsonii (Prairie Alumroot)
|Also known as:||Richardson's Alumroot|
|Habitat:||part shade, sun; fields, prairies, edges of woods|
|Bloom season:||May - July|
|Plant height:||1 to 2 feet|
|Wetland Indicator Status:||GP: FACU MW: FACU NCNE: FACU|
|MN county distribution (click map to enlarge):|
|National distribution (click map to enlarge):|
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1 to a few stalked flowers on short branches at the top of the plant, the cluster up to 8 inches long. Individual flowers are about ½ inch long, tubular with 5 rounded lobes and 5 orange-tipped stamens, and short glandular hairy on the outer surface. Flower color is green, but becomes brownish or reddish in sunnier locations. The 2 upper lobes are longest and tend to drape over the stamens that poke out the end of the tube.
Leaves and stem:
A rosette of basal leaves surrounds the flowering stems. Leaves average 3 inches long and 2½ inches wide, round to broadly heart-shaped in outline, with 5 to 9 shallow lobes, coarse sharp teeth, wavy edges, and a long hairy stalk. Surfaces are densely glandular hairy, especially along veins on the underside. Flowering stems are multiple from the base, unbranched, and densely covered in long, glandular hairs.
The flower stalks become erect as fruit develops. Fruit is an oval-elliptic capsule up to about ½ inch long with the thread-like remains of the style at the tip. Capsules ripen to brown and contain numerous tiny dark brown seeds.
Prairie Alumroot is not very picky about habitat and can be found in open prairie, rock outcrops, open woods, and on the rocky north shore of Lake Superior.
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Photos by K. Chayka taken at Long Lake Regional Park, Ramsey County. Other photos courtesy Peter M. Dziuk.
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