E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Heuchera glabra Willd. ex Roem. & Schult.
smooth alumroot (alpine heuchera)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #19708)

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Distribution of Heuchera glabra
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from well-developed, horizontal to ascending rhizomes, clothed with old, brown leaf-bases and stipules; stems 1 to several, erect, 15-60 cm tall, smooth to finely glandular-hairy below, strongly glandular-hairy in the inflorescence.
Basal leaves heart-egg-shaped, 3-9 (14) cm wide, shorter than wide, palmately 5-lobed 1/3 to 1/2 to base, the lobes shallowly lobed and coarsely toothed, sparsely glandular-hairy below, smooth above, the stalks long; stem leaves 1 or 2, greatly reduced, the upper bract-like; stipules membranous, fused to the leaf stalks.
Inflorescence an open, many-flowered cluster, the branches and flower-stalks thread-like, the bracts linear; petals white, 5, 2- to 4-times longer than sepals, clawed, the claws slender, blades diamond- to spoon-shaped; calyces greenish-yellow, cone-shaped, glandular-hairy, joined to ovary almost to top, the free hypanthium less than 0.5 mm long; calyx lobes 5, oblong-egg-shaped, about 2/3 length of lower portion; stamens 5, longer than calyx lobes.
Capsules, 5-6 mm long, egg-shaped, opening along the beaks; seeds brown, 0.7-0.8 mm long, with lengthwise rows of about 20 spines.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist rock crevices, rocky meadows, streambanks and talus slopes from the montane to alpine zones; frequent in S BC, infrequent northwards and absent in NE BC; N to AK, E to SW AB and S to N OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Heuchera glabra

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 5 762 2180
Slope Gradient (%) 0 35 100
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 210 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 4 7
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: AT(1), CWH(21), ESSF(4), MH(6), SBS(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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General References