[Alumroots: The Genus Heuchera East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot

Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina

Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii

Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

Roundleaf alumroot (var. alpina) as seen amongst granitic boulders at the summit of the Lakes Lookout, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest..........July 25, 2013.

Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii) Photo at right of roundleaf allumroot (var. alpina) from the western face of Table Mt., Wenatche N.F............July 25, 1996.
Characteristics:

Roundleaf or mat alumroot is an attractive perennial with erect or ascending stems from 10-45 cm in height arising from a cluster of basal leaves atop a thick, horizontal rhizome or rootstock with old leaf-bases. The herbage may be smooth to glandular hairy below and usually thickly glandular hairy above. The stems lack leaves or may have several small bracts up to 1 cm long. The leaf blades are broadly ovate to oval, or they may be kidney- to heart-shaped. The blades are 1.6-3.5 cm long and 1.4-3.2 cm wide. The base of the blade is heart-shaped. The margins are 5-7 lobed with coarse teeth on each lobe. The petioles are 1-8 cm long and may be smooth or hairy.

The inflorescence is a congested panicle or elongated cluster of flowers. The inflorescence varies from smooth surfaced to hairy and very glandular. The pedicels are up to 3.5 mm long. The yellow-green to cream calyx is narrowly bell-shaped and 3.5-5 mm long with pale yellow to cream, obtuse to rounded lobes. The lobes are shorter than the length of the tube. The petals are typically either lacking or are much shorter than the calyx-lobes. If present, they are linear in shape. The stamens are shorter than the calyx lobes.


Varieties of Heuchera cylindrica:

var. alpina: Leaf blades thick and under 2.5 cm wide (slightly longer). The base of the blade varies from rounded to heart-shaped (See photo at lower right.). Lower stems and blades finely glandular hairy.

var. glabella: Leaf blades thinner and over 2.5 cm wide. The base of the blade is definitely heart-shaped. Lower stems , leaves, and petioles often smooth surfaced or sparsely glandular hairy.

var. cylindrica: Leaf blades thinner and over 2.5 cm wide. The base of the blade is definitely heart-shaped. Lower stems and petioles and petioles glandular hairy to coarsely and stiffly haired.


Habitat:

Roundleaf alumroot may be found on rocky and talus slopes and on cliffs, often in crevices or cracks in rock outcrops.


Range:

Roundleaf alumroot may be found from British Columbia south on the eastern side of the Cascades to central Oregon and northeastern California. To the east it may be found to Alberta, and south in the Rockies to Montana, northwestern Wyoming and northern Nevada.

Variety alpina may be found from the Wenatchee Mts. and Grant County of central Washington south to Jackson County, Oregon and northeastern California. It may be found eastward to the Blue and Wallowa Mts. of southeastern Washington and northeastern Oregon, the Steens Mt., And into southwest Idaho and northern Nevada.


Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii) - Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

Inflorescence of Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii) - Basal leaf of Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

Several views of alpine alumroot as seen on basalt cliffs above the John Day River at the junction of US Highway 26 and Oregon Highway 19, Grant County, Oregon...........June 2, 2011.

Basal leaves of Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii) - Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

Alpine alumroot in bud along the Canyon Mountain Trail, Strawbery Mountain Wilderness.........May 29, 2014.

Basal leaves of Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

A basal rosette of leaves of roundleaf alumroot (var. alpina) as seen on a basalt outcrop above the old road on the east bank of the John Day River about two miles west of the Esau Canyon corral, Cottonwood Canyon State Park..........February 20, 2016.

Inflorescence of Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence of roundleaf alumroot (var. alpina) as seen along the north loop road at the Steens Mt in southeastern Oregon............July 15, 2000.

Basal leaf of Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

The photo above shows a close-up of the glabrous blade and petiole of a leaf of roundleaf alumroot (var. alpina) as seen at the summit of Strawberry Mt., Strawberry Wilderness.......September 4, 1999.

Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii) - Alpine Alumroot, Mat Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. alpina (Synonyms: Heuchera cylindrica var. orbicularis, Heuchera cylindrica var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. ovalifolia, Heuchera ovalifolia var. thompsonii)

Mat alumroot (left) growing on a basalt cliff near the summit on the east face of Table Rock, Monument Rock Wilderness............August 3, 2011. The photo at right shows roundleaf alumroot (var. alpina) on the rocky east slopes of Spanish Peak, Ochoco National Forest........September 25, 2016.

Paul Slichter