Solar Eclipse

By Susan Littlefield

The next solar eclipse visible from the mainland U.S. won't happen until August 21, 2017. But if you're a gardener you won't have to wait that long. For horticultural, rather than astronomical excitement, plant the new heucherella cultivar 'Solar Eclipse'.

A 2012 offering from Terra Nova Nurseries, breeders of so many garden-worthy introductions of heucheras, tiarellas, and heucherellas, 'Solar Eclipse' displays leaves of reddish mahogany-brown accented with a border of bright lime green for a season-long addition of eye-catching color and pattern to shady garden beds.

Forming a compact, vigorous mound of foliage reaching 10-24 inches tall and about 18 inches wide, this hybrid, a cross between heuchera and tiarella or foamflower, produces sprays of small white flowers above the leaves in late spring. Great as a low edging, ground cover, accent plant, or in a container planting, 'Solar Eclipse' thrives in moist, well-drained soil and part shade and is hardy to zone 4.

To find out more about heucherella 'Solar Eclipse', go to National Garden Bureau.

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