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Mapleleaf Alumroot, Hairy Alum Root, Rough Heuchera - Heuchera villosa


Family: Saxifragaceae - Saxifrage family Genus Common Name: Alumroot Native Status: NativeDicot Perennial Herb
Heuchera villosa - Mapleleaf Alumroot, Hairy Alum Root, Rough Heuchera. Approximately 32 Heuchera species are found in North America. The populations in the northern and southwestern states in the range (particularly Ohio, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Mississippi) seem to be very limited - only 1 or 2 counties in each of those states. From what I can tell, its presence in New York is questionable; BONAP distribution map indicates a presence in 1 county; New York Flora Association indicates that it is not known in the wild in New York. It is Threatened in Ohio and Endangered in Maryland. There is a variety (var. arkansana) which is found only in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas. The inflorescence of var. arkansana may be smaller and more dense, and the flowers are glabrous or less hairy than the more widely distributed var. villosa.

The Heuchera genus is named for Johann Heinrich von Heucher, an Austrian-born botanist of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Found in:
AL, AR, GA, IN, KY, MD, MO, MS, NC, NY, OH, PA, SC, TN, VA, WV

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Heuchera villosa

Distribution of Heuchera villosa in the United States and Canada:
USDA Plants Distribution Map temporarily unavailable.
Blue=Native; Grey=Introduced

Map from USDA Plants Database:
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database (http://plants.usda.gov, 16 Aug 2017). National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.

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Site: Roaring Fork Motor Trail, GSMNP, Sevier County, TN Date: 2013-September-22Photographer: Gerald C. Williamson
Nikon D7000
Tamron SP 90MM f/2.8 AF Macro
The green-tipped, hairy parts of the flower are the sepals, which may be white or pinkish. While these are usually covered with many long, stipitate-glandular hairs, they may be sparsely hairy or even glabrous. The petals are the white, corkscrewed appendages hanging below the sepals, nearly lost among the longer stamens and pistils.
Heuchera villosa

Site: Roaring Fork Motor Trail, GSMNP, Sevier County, TN Date: 2013-September-22Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
The multilobed leaf is shaped similar to that of the leaf of a maple tree, yielding the common name. It maybe glabrous or hairy, is palmately lobed and may have 5 to 9 (or more) lobes, and is serrate or toothed. The lobes are reported as more rounded away from the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina, where these photos were taken. The petiole of Heuchera villosa is glandular-hairy.
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Heuchera villosa

Site: Roaring Fork Motor Trail, GSMNP, Sevier County, TN Date: 2013-September-22Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
While the basal rosette of leaves on their petioles rarely grow much more than a foot above the ground, the flowering stalk may be almost 3 feet tall. The plants grows in crevices shaded rocks and on rocky ledges; in this case out of a nearly vertical section of a rocky bluff.
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Heuchera villosa

Site: Roaring Fork Motor Trail, GSMNP, Sevier County, TN Date: 2013-September-22Photographer: Gerald C Williamson
Nikon D7000
Another view of the flowers of Mapleleaf Alumroot. Note the corkscrewed petals on the flower in the center of the photo. The petals may not always be twisted like that.
Click on the photo for a larger image
Heuchera villosa

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All content except USDA Plants Database map Copyright Gerald C. Williamson 2017
Photographs Copyright owned by the named photographer