Sunday, September 21, 2008

Native Plants Of California ~ #20 In A Series

There are 50 types of Coral Bells, all beautiful and easily grown California natives. One type, Heuchera Maximus grows on three of the eight Channel Islands of California, in salty ocean breezes on cliffs and down to the shore. All 50 species are native only to North America and grow readily in the wild and in your garden. One of the prettiest has large rounded multi-lobed leaves, deep purple in color, that form a ruffled mound before sending up stalks of terra-cotta, white or pink colored bells. The leaves are beautiful paired in a bud vase with pink cyclamen. If you need greenery to fill out a bouquet, leaves of heuchera work beautifully, adding texture with their ruffles. They do well in hanging baskets or in a garden border. Coral bells tolerate a lot of shade on the coast, and although they'll grow more slowly, the color of their leaves will be deeper.

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