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

Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot

Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella

Synonym: Heuchera glabella

Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Roundleaf alumroot (var. glabella) as seen from meadows near Alder Thicket Campground in the Umatilla N.F of southeastern Washington.........June 25, 2007.


Inflorescence of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) Roundleaf alumroot (var. glabella) as seen from meadows near Chewelah Peak in the Colville N.F........June 23, 2006. Note the glandular inflorescence which often may trap dust or dirt particles upon the surface of the plant. The stems become mostly glabrous lower on the stems, while the petioles of the plants at this site are largely glabrous.
Characteristics:

Roundleaf or lava alumroot is an attractive perennial with erect or ascending stems from 15-90 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. The leaf blades are broadly ovate to oval, or they may be kidney- to heart-shaped. The blades are 1-6 cm wide and vary from shorter than the width to longer. The base of the blade is heart-shaped or may abruptly narrow to the petiole. The margins are 5-7 lobed with coarse teeth on each lobe. The petioles are 3-10 cm long and may be smooth or hairy depending on the variety.

The inflorescence is a panicle or elongated cluster of flowers. The inflorescence varies from smooth surfaced to hairy and very glandular (The plants in the photos on this page were very sticky as evidenced by the debris visible on them.). The yellow-green calyx is narrowly bell-shaped and 6-8 mm long with pale yellow, obtuse to rounded lobes. The lobes are shorter than the length of the tube. The petals are 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.


Leaf of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

The photo above shows a leaf of roundleaf alumroot (var. glabella) as seen from Chewelah Peak in the Colville N.F........June 23, 2006. Note the petiole which is glabrous throughout its length.

Habitat:

Roundleaf alumroot may be found on rocky and talus slopes and on cliffs.


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 glabella may be found from British Columbia east to Alberta and south to much of Montana. It may be found over much of Idaho and eastern Washington, but is uncommon in Oregon.


Flower of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

The photo above shows a close-up of a flower of roundleaf alumroot as seen at Chewelah Peak........June 23, 2006. Note the numerous gland-tipped hairs covering the outer surface of the flower.

Glandular hairs on the stems ofBeautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

The photo above shows the stem of roundleaf alumroot covered with gland-tipped hairs. Photographed near Chewelah Peak.........June 23, 2006.

Leaf of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Flower of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Flower of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Inflorescence of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

The photos above show different details of roundleaf alumroot (var. glabella) as seen from Alder Thicket Campground in the Umatilla N.F. of southeastern Washington........June 25, 2007.

Leaf of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Gland-tipped hairs on the stem of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Lower leaf surface of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

The photos above show close-up views of a leaf of roundleaf alumroot as seen at Wilson Creek, a BLM site about 10 miles southwest of Wilbur, WA..........April 30, 2007.The central photo shows close-up details of the gland-tipped hairs on the stem below the inflorescence.

Flower of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Flowers of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Stem of Beautiful Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot, Lava Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Ventral leaf surface of Beautiful Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot, Lava Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Dorsal leaf surface of Beautiful Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot, Lava Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Beautiful Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot, Lava Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Beautiful Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot, Lava Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Additional photos of roundleaf alumroot as seen at Steptoe Butte in the Palouse country of eastern Washington........June 22, 2009.

Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Inflorescence of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Roundleaf alumroot as seen atop Kamiak Butte, Kamiak Butte County Park, Whitman County, Washington........June 11, 2013.

Raceme of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella) - Leaves of Beautiful Alumroot, Lava Alumroot, Roundleaf Alumroot: Heuchera cylindrica var. glabella (Synonym: Heuchera glabella)

Roundleaf alumroot as seen along the North Fork Catherine Creek Trail #1905 about one-half mile downstream of the first bridge crossing over the creek, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.......June 12, 2018.

Paul Slichter