overlay image

Manitoba Museum

Saxifrage (Saxifragaceae)


Heuchera richardsonii R. Br.

The basal leaves of this perennial resemble those of a maple tree. They create an attractive ground cover, making Alumroot a good choice for gardens. They prefer to grow with little competition from other plants. The flowers have no scent, and can be purple, white/cream, or green. They are pollinated by hummingbirds and bees, and also attract butterflies. The plants have been used for medicinal purposes and as a mordant to fix dye.

Flower Colour:

  • Green

Flowering Season:

  • Spring
  • Summer

Flowering Months:

  • April
  • July
  • June
  • May

Canadian Rarity Status:

Not rare. Listed as “may be at risk” in the Northwest Territories.

Physical Appearance:

Long-stalked basal leaves are heart to kidney-shaped, with 7-9 shallow toothed lobes, and hairy undersides. Several leafless, hairy stems grow 15-70 cm tall from the basal leaves, topped by spike-like flower clusters. Each flower has five inconspicuous, spoon-shaped petals, five stamens with orange anthers, and a 5-lobed, hairy, bell-shaped calyx. Fruits are capsules containing numerous small, spiny, brown seeds that are dispersed by the wind.

Gardening Notes:

Seeds and/or plants are often available from greenhouses and seed supply companies specializing in native plants. They make a good addition to butterfly, bird and prairie gardens.

Canadian Distribution:

  • Alberta
  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • Northwest Territories
  • Ontario
  • Saskatchewan

Prairie Types:

  • Fescue Prairie
  • Mixed Grass Prairie
  • Tall Grass Prairie


  • Forest Edges
  • Lake Shores
  • Prairies
  • Rocky Slopes
  • Savannahs
  • Tundra

Moisture Conditions:

  • Dry
  • Moderate
  • Moist

Light Preference:

  • Full Sun
  • Part Shade

Soil Preference:

  • Gravel
  • Loam
  • Sand