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This plant has a similar appearance to Heuchera americana (Common Alumroot). Generally, Prairie Alumroot has straight white hairs on the petioles of the leaves and the flowering stems, while Common Alumroot has short appressed hairs (lying against the flowering stems or petioles), or is devoid of conspicuous hairs. The flowers of Prairie Alumroot are slightly larger in size (about 1/8" long), while those of Common Alumroot are about 1/10" long. The flowers of Prairie Alumroot are often longer at the top than the bottom, while those of Common Alumroot are more symmetrical. Across different localities, there are significant variations in the characteristics of this plant, and different varieties have been identified. In Illinois, var. grayana has flowers that are strongly asymmetric, while var. affinis (as illustrated in a photograph above) has flowers that are only slightly asymmetric. Plants with reddish leaves and silver markings have been introduced by the nursery trade, which are sometimes grown in flower gardens. The wild plant, however, isn't very showy. Return

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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