We’ve seen plenty of heucheras released on to the market in recent years. The latest edition of the RHS Plant Finder lists five pages of them, ten columns, while twenty years ago they failed to fill a single column.
But it’s rare that a variety in a completely new style arrives, so step forward Heuchera Frilly ('Alchefril'). Discovered by Neil Alcock of Seiont Nurseries near Caernarfon, it features unique tightly frilled foliage as well as dramatic and intense colouring.
“I found Frilly as a sport of ‘Tangerine Wave’ in my garden in 2016,” Neil told me. “Developed and introduced by Vicky & Richard Fox of Plantagogo, ‘Tangerine Wave’ is one of the best orange varieties.
“I noticed that my original plant had a shoot at the base which was heavily crested so I took a cutting and observed the growth habit, which remained very compact – it made a handsome plant! The colour darkens to a deep orange in winter and also in other extreme conditions such as when growing in a dry sunny position. The foliage is a lighter caramel colour in shady spots.
“I initially bulked it up from cuttings and thankfully it came out true to type. It is proving a good container plant and also is resilient in the border.”
The intensely frilled evergreen foliage of Frilly features rich orange, tangerine, caramel and at times almost scarlet colourings in the leaves. It makes a fine plant for a patio container, where its distinctive foliage can easily be admired, either with daffodils or pale blue muscari. Frilly also makes a good specimen, in a blue-glazed pot perhaps.
Heuchera Frilly ('Alchefril') will be officially launched at the Chelsea Flower Show 2021, but you can order plants from Plantagogo now.
*Please note, the contents of this blog reflect the opinions of the author and his correspondents, and do not constitute an official endorsement from the RHS.