Bells And Whistles: 16 Different Types Of Coral Bells

Coral bells, or heuchera plants, are a species of evergreen perennial plant that are native to North America. Don’t get confused – they can also be sold as alumroots!

These plants are prized for their long or lobed leaves and well-developed root systems. These plants can be used for medicinal purposes and were popular amongst some Native American peoples for this purpose.

A coral bell plant can be used to treat several ailments, including for the treatment of syphilis and inflamed testicles.

But what are the different types of coral bell? We have put together this quick guide to take you through everything you need to know about the different varieties of this wonderful plant. 

Blackberry Ice

Blackberry Ice

First up is the Blackberry Ice variety. They are particularly tolerant of hot temperatures and develop a deep red tone that can read as purple as the plant matures.

The leaves are easily identifiable thanks to the black veining. If you are having trouble identifying this characteristic, hold the leaf against a light. This should help you notice the color contrast a little more easily.

Despite its moody color tones, this variety of coral bell blooms in a perhaps surprising white color in the summer. Plant these in your garden, and you are guaranteed incredible bursts of brightness come July!

Berry Smoothie

Berry Smoothie

As its moniker would suggest, all Berry Smoothie varieties of the coral bell family are bright pink when the foliage first grows.

As the leaves mature, however, the leaves and blossoms will deepen in tone until you see a more purple or deep pink shade. Basically, the foliage goes from a raspberry tone to a blackcurrant color.

Keep an eye on this variety if you are fortunate enough to have it growing in your garden. The lighter shades of pink will begin to develop in the mid to late spring, but you do need to be proactive.

Regular dead-heading will make sure that your Berry Smoothie is producing wonderful flowers all through summer.

Unlike other coral bell varieties, the Berry Smoothie will enjoy partial shade. It is a good idea to water these plants gently but frequently while they are maturing. This will help get them well established quickly.

Citronelle

Citronelle

Looking for a leafy but heat tolerant plant? Look no further than the Citronelle coral bell variety. They are a light green that is quite similar to lime and will flourish where other plants would get cooked.

While they will do well in heat, you do need to avoid direct sunlight – you don’t want to fry delicate leaves! Try growing this coral bell variety in partial shade for the best results. 

Gold Zebra

Gold Zebra

If drama is more your style in the garden, check out the Gold Zebra coral bell. This wonderfully named plant has foliage that is equally lovely.

It combines wonderful yellow leaves with dark red or deep purple centers. They would make an incredible addition to any border.

Like the Citronelle variety, a Gold Zebra plant will thrive in hot climates. They also do remarkably well in very humid environments.

As with the Citronelle, you need to make sure that you plant or pot in partial shade or shadier. The Gold Zebra needs time to rest out of the sun!

Caramel

Caramel

On the subject of hot summer gardens, you could also inject some golden but hardy hues with the Caramel coral bell.

You can grow the coral bell in full sun or very sunny areas, but you may find that it occasionally needs a break in a protected and shady area.

As this coral bell can be grown in full sun, it can be easy to underwater it. Make sure that you always keep your Caramel coral bell well topped up at all times, especially in the hottest summer weeks.

A well maintained Caramel coral bell will develop delicate pink blooms from the middle of summer onwards. These blooms will eventually mature into a deeper gold or brown shade that the plant is named after.

Peppermint Spice

Peppermint Spice

Peppermint Spice coral bells are considered by some garden connoisseurs to be the pinnacle of the whole coral bell species. It is easy to see why!

The leaves are grown from light pink blossoms and develop and mature into an ethereal deep green-silver color with black veins.

Check back with these plants in the summer to see wonderful flowers that can grow to be 10 inches (25 cm) tall.

Green Spice

Green Spice

Like the Peppermint Spice, the Green Spice is green with deeply veined foliage.

You will also notice that the background shade of this foliage is a deep green, with a lighter or more silver center. The gradient of these leaves is most certainly going to be spice up your garden!

A well maintained Green Spice plant will produce lovely flowers from the late spring. Regular maintenance and deadheading will keep these flowers coming long into summer. Keep an eye out for little white blossoms from April.

Midnight Rose

Midnight Rose

The Midnight Rose coral bell plant can add a touch of drama and color to any garden!

The new growth on the Midnight Rose begins unusually dark and deep, creating a striking contrast between older and more mature foliage.

Well-developed leaves are a fetching shade of mulberry that will become increasingly pale as the season progresses.

Keep in mind that this variation will not grow more than around 10 inches (25 cm), no matter how well you care for it.

This makes the Midnight Rose the perfect choice for anyone looking for a low-growing or border plant.

Amber Waves

Amber Waves

The Amber Waves variety is quite similar to the Caramel coral bell. It has a similar golden or light brown foliage. That said, the red or pink buds of new growth do lend this plant a more coppery hue. 

Keep this variety in partial shade and water well. The leaves are very attractive and mature with a ruffled edge. The caramel colors compliment the white blossoms and pink buds to create a truly remarkable plant.

Hollywood

Hollywood

Many people grow coral bells for their leaves. You can do this, but you are missing out on some truly wonderful flower blossoms – just look at the Hollywood variety.

The Hollywood coral bell is particularly good to cultivate a healthy bird population, especially hummingbirds.

The red flowers look truly stunning when they finish blooming. But don’t worry – the leaves are stunning too and the deep purple shades provide a breathtaking contrast to the blossoms.

Melting Fire

Melting Fire

Melting fire features many of the coral bell’s most favored features. They are delicate but ruffled, for example, and begin a crimson but mature into an incredible purple shade.

Be sure to check back in the middle of summer to see the lovely white flowers.

Like other coral bell varieties with dark leaves, the Melting Fire is prone to leaf scorch. To prevent damage, it will be best to plant in partial shade.

If possible try to plant so that the foliage avoids afternoon sun as this will also help prevent excessive dryness and browning.

Lime Marmalade

Lime Marmalade

Any coral bell will give your garden a burst of energy, but nothing tugs on a gardener’s heartstrings like nice shades of green!

Keep in mind that all Lime Marmalade varieties do very well in pots, rather than planted straight into the ground.

The Lime Marmalade variety will keep its light and vibrant hues all year long. This does mean that you are unlikely to get lots of flowers or blossoms as the plant focuses on its zesty leaves. 

Venus

Venus

If you love ethereal or wintry plants, you can’t go wrong with the Venus variety of coral bell. Some frequently compare this variety to stained-glass as the leaves are very delicate.

Make this plant truly standout in your garden by planting it near other species of coral bell that have darker foliage. This will help draw the eye to the dark veins in the Venus leaves.

While this plant does look like the pinnacle of wintry horticulture, it does not do well in cold conditions. Avoid a heavy frost as much as possible and don’t disregard the value of a mulch layer!

Can Can

Can Can

The leaves on the Can Can coral bell are a wonderful shade of silver, with purple splotches and dark eggplant purple veining. If you look closely, you will be able to see the berry pink edging along the leaves’ ruffles.

Delta Dawn

Delta Dawn

If you are looking for a standout or contrast plant, look no further than the Delta Dawn variety. The leaves have a striking and vibrant green edge with a deep maroon center. 

Like other coral bell varieties, you will find that the Delta Dawn does well in a partially shaded position.

If you are able to plant it in a position, so it gets full sun in the morning but is shaded when the sun gets stronger in the afternoon you are on for a winner!

Zipper

Zipper

Finally, you have the Zipper variety. This variety of coral bell is an incredible break from the common green foliage varieties.

These leaves are a wonderful psychedelic concoction of red, orange, and purple – even on the stems.

This plant is guaranteed to add some zing and pop to your garden.

Final Thoughts

There are lots of different varieties of coral bells to choose from. This means that you are guaranteed to find a plant to suit you and your garden.

Morgan Daniels

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