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I’ll Have A Cherry Cola With A Champagne Chaser

I’ll Have A Cherry Cola With A Champagne Chaser

By Dan Heims, president, Terra Nova Nurseries
Photographs courtesy of Terra Nova Nurseries

No campers, Dan hasn’t gone nutso. It’s time for a bevy of tasty (at least, tastily named) heuchera. From Terra Nova’s humble beginnings, when their single-paged catalog came out, Dan’s been naming plants after food, and drinks, and well, other things that … spark joy. OK? Marie Kondo? There is a visceral connection between food with its warm, comforting memories and plants that have an appearance that evokes these memories. Let’s have the story of some of these beauties.

Plant breeding comes in waves. Heuchera ‘Champagne’, for example, came as such a result from a whole series of pastel-tinted coral bells, happily accented in attractive blood-red flower stems and peachy-pink bells. Heuchera ‘Cherry Cola’ came out as a seedling from a group of compact cultivars with attractive foliage as well as proportional flowers on shorter stems. This helped give rise to a number of plants in the City series.

Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’ still has its devotees who love the electric-yellow, ruffled foliage and the crisp white flowers in the spring.

Dan remembers his wife, Lynne viewing a picture of Heuchera ‘Peach Flambe’ on his computer screen. “That can’t be real!” she exclaimed, “You faked that one!” Dan said, “I won’t dignify THAT one with an answer. Come with me.”

Dan led her out into the garden and showed her the glowing object of his affection. “It IS real!” came the surprised reply.

Dan closes with a classic. Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding,’ an especially long-lived variety, a tough bird in any location. Beautiful marbling and silvering with a metallic purple flush in spring. More details? Here ya go.

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Heuchera ‘Champagne’

Here is a stunning plant with medium-sized leaves magically changing from peach to gold to champagne-gold with a strong white veil overall. Designers enjoy the multi-hued leaves accenting the greens and golds of summer displays. Free-flowering maroon stems with light peach flowers most of the season.

Reaching a foliage height of 11 inches in the first year, it will spread to 14 inches and flower on 14-inch stalks. Happiest in partial to full shade, it will reward users from USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 4 to 9 with flowers from May to October. Beautiful en-masse.

Learn more about this variety here.

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Heuchera ‘Cherry Cola’

Front of the border charm with lovely rust-red leaves and cherry red flowers. 'Cherry Cola' performs all year-round. Why name a plant after a cola? Terra Nova’s plant-namers felt it had a warm cola finish with an effervescent floral display in the garden. John Elsley (from Wayside Gardens at the time) was in awe when he saw it in our show garden.

This one can take the sun or a bit of shade to show its best color. The plant dimensions are six inches in height, 14 inches in width and 18 inches while in flower. It is exceedingly long lived and hardy in zones 4 to 9.

Learn more about this variety here.

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Heuchera ‘Lime Rickey’

Consistently one of Terra Nova’s top selling heuchera. Lime-green to chartreuse ruffled foliage provides multi-seasonal interest in both gardens and mixed containers. This refreshing color is the perfect contrast plant, allowing it to play well with many purple-leaved plants. A vigorous grower which is topped with thousands of small pure white flowers in spring. Makes an unusual houseplant in a bright window.

Hardiness is like most heuchera. Prefers full to partial shade. Grows only eight inches tall by 18 inches wide and is 17 inches in height. Blooming from May to June, this lovely is fabulous in a container garden, contrasting with green and purple foliage plants.

Learn more about this variety here.

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Heuchera ‘Peach Flambé’

Bright peach-colored leaves that actually glow in spring, summer, and fall, turning to plum in winter. Large, smooth leaves and flaming red infusions create drama in the garden. The color progression of 'Peach Flambé' through the year provides multi-seasonal interest as a superb color companion with spring yellows, summer blues, and fall oranges. 

It is a vigorous, medium-sized plant that produces white flowers in spring on stems to 16 inches, and it enjoys partial to full shade. It blooms June to July, and is one of Dan Heims’ top 10 favorites! It even won a first-place award at the Royal Dutch Flower Bulb Association show in 2008.

Learn more about this variety here.

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Heuchera ‘Plum Pudding’

Thriving in the heat and humidity of the South, this industry staple is still one of our finest “plums.” Tight, compact habit with “beyond burgundy” shiny spring foliage make this an excellent companion planting for a wide array of colors.

Dimensions of this classic are eight inches tall by 16 inches wide and 26 inches in flower. It appears to tolerate any lighting condition. Like most heuchera, it is hardy in zones 4 to 9. Blooms appear in May to June and are popular with pollinators. This was one of Terra Nova’s first breakthrough (when it used to be a good thing) plants and is still specced by landscape architects. A stalwart plant.

Learn more about this variety here.

About the Author:

Dan Heims is president of Terra Nova Nurseries. He is an award-winning author who lectures throughout the world. Heims was recently honored by The American Horticultural Society with the Luther Burbank Breeding Award as well as the Perennial Plant Association’s Award of Merit. He was honored by receiving the Royal Horticultural Society’s Reginald Cory Cup for advancements in breeding. Contact Heims at [email protected], and learn about Terra Nova Nurseries at

All articles are copyrighted and remain the property of the author.

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