Herb: Alum Root
Latin name: Heuchera diversifolia
Synonyms: Heuchera micrantha diversifolia
Family: Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)
Medicinal use of Alum Root:The root is antiphlogistic, antiseptic, astringent, febrifuge and ophthalmic.
Description of the plant:
Habitat of the herb:Moist banks of humus and rocks in woodland below 600 metres, from British Columbia to California. Gravelly banks and rock crevices from low elevations to the sub-alpine zone.
Edible parts of Alum Root:Young leaves - cooked. Not very palatable.
Other uses of the herb:The root can be used as an alum substitute, this is a mordant used in fixing dyes. The root is rich in tannin, is this the active ingredient that acts as a mordant?. A good ground cover plant for the woodland garden. Plants should be spaced about 30cm apart each way.
Propagation of Alum Root:Seed - sow early spring in a warm greenhouse and only just cover the seed. Germination is usually fairly rapid. Prick out the seedlings when they are large enough to handle and plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer. The seed can also be sown in the middle of spring in an outdoor seedbed and planted out in early summer. Alternatively, you can sow the seed in an outdoor seedbed in the middle of summer for planting out in the following spring. Division in March or October. It is best to divide the plants in August or early September, making sure that the woody roots are planted quite deeply with only the crown of foliage above the ground.
Cultivation of the herb:Moist banks of humus and rocks in woodland below 600 metres, from British Columbia to California. Gravelly banks and rock crevices from low elevations to the sub-alpine zone.
Known hazards of Heuchera diversifolia:None known
Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.