Herb: Alum Root

Latin name: Heuchera sanguinea

Family: Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

July to

Habitat of Alum Root:

Moist shady rocks.

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 35cm 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 shady rocks.

Medicinal use of Alum Root:

None known

Known hazards of Heuchera sanguinea:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.