Heuchera parvifolia (Small-leaved Alumroot) - photos and description









Small 'keyhole' at base of leaf lobes

General: Single stems arising from a basal rosette of leaves. Leaves and stem rough hairy with very short hairs.

Flowers: Flowers grow in a narrow panicle, have white petals, reflexed petals and sepals, and a saucer-shaped, yellow hypanthium. Flower petals were measured at 3 mm long, hypanthium measured at 3 mm diameter.

Leaves: Leaves all basal, with long petioles, reniform to orbicular, lobes rounded and often overlapping, ciliate. Leaves cleft to about 1/3 of their length. The largest leaf we found measured 22 mm long by 33 mm wide.

Height: Budd's Flora lists the height to 30 cm, we measured plants to 33 cm tall.

Habitat: Rocky slopes in the Cypress Hills.

Abundance: This plant is extremely rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

How to identify this species of Heuchera: There is one other species of Heuchera found in Saskatchewan, Heuchera richardsonii. To identify H. parviflora:

 - H. parviflora has much smaller leaves than H. richardsonnii. All the samples of H. parviflora we examined at the herbariums at the University of Regina, and University of Saskatchewan had basal leaves that were at most 30 mm diameter. H. richardsonnii typically has basal leaves 55 mm wide.

- The flowers are saucer-shaped and yellow and white in colour for H. parviflora; the flowers are tube-shaped and are brown or purplish in colour for H. richardsonii.

- Members of the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan pointed out to me there is a small 'keyhole' at the base of the lobes of H. parviflora caused by the leaf segments overlapping (shown in the photo above), while the lobes of the leaves of H. richardsonnii typically do not overlap.

When and where photographed: Photos taken June 22nd and June 23rd, stony, grassy hilltop, West Block Cypress Hills Provincial Park about about 450 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.