This is one in a weekly series featuring the UC Davis Community Favorites, 75 can't-fail, easy-care plants well-adapted to our region and recommended by local gardeners.
Silver Scrolls coral bells
Heuchera "Silver Scrolls"
Size: Under 2 feet tall
Bloom season: Spring, summer, fall
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Pruning needs: Little or none; remove spent flowers
Water needs: Once established, water deeply once a week
Snapshot: This little perennial packs a punch with eye-catching silver and purple foliage and charming white and pink flowers. It makes a lovely border for rock gardens or flower beds or can form an easy-care ground cover. In hot Sacramento summers, coral bells prefer an eastern exposure and a little afternoon shade. They tolerate dry shade, but prefer well-drained and organically rich soil. Divide clumps every three to four years. You can see specimens in the arboretum's teaching nursery on the UC Davis campus.
Why it's a Favorite: "I love the way the leaves glow reddish purple when backlit by the sun," said arboretum volunteer Cindy Anders. "Pink buds, cream flowers! It is a neat, compact plant; good in a border."
For more on the Community Favorites and Arboretum All-Stars, click on http://arboretum.ucdavis.edu.