Starting a series within a series, I will be highlighting shade plants that grow well underneath trees, especially California Live Oak. I have a deep shade area beneath many trees here in my own garden and i am constantly looking for plants that can help green this area. — Douglas

Island Alum Root (Heuchera maxima) 

Heuchera maxima 4.jpg
By Stan Shebs, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link 

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Heuchera maxima is a species of flowering plant in the saxifrage family, known by the common names island alum rootChannel Islands coral bells, and Jill of the rocks.

It is endemic to the four northern Channel Islands of California, within Channel Islands National Park. It grows on canyon cliffs in coastal sage scrub habitats. [1]

Heuchera maxima is a rhizomatous perennial herb growing a broad patch of large, rounded, multilobed green leaves with long petioles and a fringe of hairs along the edges. It grows 1–3 feet (30–91 cm) in height.

It produces an erect inflorescence up to 60 centimetres (24 in) tall, with many clusters of hairy, glandular flowers. Each flower is rounded with fleshy white or pink lobes and tiny petals curling away from the center. The protruding stamens are tipped with large anthers.

Heuchera maxima is also cultivated as an ornamental plant for traditional, drought tolerantnative plant, and wildlife gardens. It prefers part shade, including as a groundcover in dry shade conditions under oaks. [2] — Wikipedia

More information on Island Alum Root (Heuchera maxima):


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Previously in the Interesting Plant series: 

Interesting Plant is a series from A Gardener’s Notebook blog and podcast that highlights the most interesting plants I find in my Internet and real-world travels — Douglas