prairie alumroot

(Heuchera richardsonii)

Conservation Status
prairie alumroot
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Prairie alumroot is a 12 to 36 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on a rosette of basal leaves and several flowering stems (scapes) from a short, stout rootstock that divides into coarse roots.

The leaves are all basal. They are on long, slender, hairy leaf stalks. The hairs on the leaf stalks are white, straight, stiff, and spreading. The blades are 3 to 5 wide and roughly circular with a heart-shaped base. They are palmately lobed with 7 or 9 shallow lobes. Each lobe has 3 to 5 small, rounded, secondary lobes (lobules). The lobules are tipped with an abrupt, short, sharp point. The upper surface is hairless or nearly hairless. The lower surface is hairy at least on the veins.

The scape is leafless with a few small, scale-like bracts, and is covered with straight, stiff, spreading, white hairs. The hairs near the top are glandular.

The inflorescence is a narrow, branched, congested cluster at the end of the scape.

The flowers are about long. There are 5 green sepals fused at the base into an asymmetrical, bell-shaped tube (calyx tube) and separated at the tip into 5 unequal lobes. The upper surface of the calyx tube is ¼ to long and overhangs the lower surface which is half as long. There are 5 inconspicuous, green or greenish-white petals that do not protrude from the calyx tube. There are 5 stamens with orange anthers that extend well beyond the calyx tube. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a small, elliptic, 2-beaked capsule. The seeds are tiny, egg-shaped, with 1 or 2 flattened faces.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

12 to 36

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Green or greenish-white

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
 

Bishop’s cap (Mitella diphylla) scapes have a pair of opposite leaves. The inflorescence is unbranched. The petals are conspicuous and fringed, with the appearance of a snowflake. There are 10 stamens.

Heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) leaves have 3 to 5 lobes. The inflorescence is unbranched. The petals are larger than the sepals and conspicuous. There are 10 stamens. It is found in wooded areas in partial or full shade.

Small bishop’s cap (Mitella nuda) scapes may have one leaf. The inflorescence is unbranched. The petals are conspicuous and fringed, with the appearance of a snowflake. There are 10 stamens. It is found in forests or bogs on wet soil.

Sullivant's coolwort (Sullivantia sullivantii) scapes have 1 or 2 leaves. It is found in shade on wet soil.

 
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Dry to moderate moisture. Bluffs, prairies, woods openings, jack pine barrens, cedar glades, roadsides; especially along major rivers. Full sun to light shade.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

Late May to late July

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28.

 
  4/20/2021      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (dicots)  
  Subclass Rosidae  
  Superorder Saxifraganae  
 

Order

Saxifragales (saxifrages, stonecrops, and allies)  
 

Family

Saxifragaceae (saxifrage)  
  Genus Heuchera (alumroot)  
       
 

There are 36 species of Heuchera in the United States. Prairie alumroot is the only species that occurs in Minnesota.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Heuchera hispida

Heuchera hispida

Heuchera richardsonii var. affinis

Heuchera richardsonii var. grayana

Heuchera richardsonii var. hispidior

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

alumroot

midland alumroot

prairie alumroot

Richardson’s alumroot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

Lobule

A small lobe-like subdivision of a lobe.

 

Palmate

Similar to a hand. Having more than three lobes or leaflets that radiate from a single point at the base of the leaf.

 

Scape

An erect, leafless stalk growing from the rootstock and supporting a flower or a flower cluster.

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

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Nancy Falkum

 
 

Prairie Alum Root in bud and some blooming

 
    prairie alumroot      
 

Kirk Nelson

 
 

Prairie Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii), growing in the Mesic prairie

 
    prairie alumroot   prairie alumroot  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

Plant

 
    prairie alumroot   prairie alumroot  
           
 

Inflorescence

 
    prairie alumroot   prairie alumroot  
           
 

Flower

 
    prairie alumroot   prairie alumroot  
           
 

Scape

 
    prairie alumroot      
           
 

Leaves

 
    prairie alumroot   prairie alumroot  
           
    prairie alumroot   prairie alumroot  
           
 

Petiole

 
    prairie alumroot      
           
 

Infructescence

 
    prairie alumroot      

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Heuchera richardsonii PRAIRIE ALUM ROOT
Frank Mayfield
  Heuchera richardsonii PRAIRIE ALUM ROOT  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

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Other Videos
 
  Prairie Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii)
PrairieMoonNursery
 
   
 
About

Uploaded on Jun 8, 2010

http://www.prairiemoon.com - Prairie Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii) is a species found at Prairie Moon Nursery that tolerates different sun and soil conditions.

   

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

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  Nancy Falkum
6/5/2021

Location: Kellogg Weaver Dunes SNA, Weaver Dunes Unit

Prairie Alum Root in bud and some blooming

prairie alumroot  
  Kirk Nelson
5/30/2015

Location: Joseph A. Tauer Prairie SNA

Prairie Alumroot (Heuchera richardsonii), growing in the Mesic prairie

prairie alumroot  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
   

 

 

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