28. Heuchera novamexicana Wheelock, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 17: 200. 1890.
Range alum-root Range alum-root
Herbs acaulescent; caudex branched. Flowering stems 30-50 cm, short or long stipitate-glandular. Leaves: petiole glabrous or long stipitate-glandular; blade reniform or rounded-cordate, shallowly 5-lobed, 2-6 cm, base cordate, lobes rounded, margins dentate, apex obtuse, surfaces long stipitate-glandular on veins abaxially, glabrous or short stipitate-glandular adaxially. Inflorescences dense. Flowers: hypanthium radially symmetric, free 1-1.8 mm, cream or yellowish green, broadly campanulate, 3-5 mm, short stipitate-glandular; sepals erect or incurved, green-tipped, equal, 0.6-1.2 mm, apex ovate; petals usually erect, white, elliptic, (not clawed), unlobed, 0.5-1 mm, margins entire; stamens included 0.5 mm; (filaments erect or incurved distally, equaling and not concealed by anthers); styles included 0.5-1 mm, 0.5-1 mm, 0.1+ mm diam. Capsules ovoid, 5.5-6.5 mm, beaks divergent, not papillose. Seeds dark brown, asymmetrically ellipsoid or convex-fusiform, 0.5 mm. 2n = 14.
Flowering Jun. Shaded rocky ledges and outcrops; 1800-2200 m; Ariz., N.Mex.
Heuchera novamexicana occurs in the mountains of Arizona and New Mexico. Populations with glabrous petioles may be found in the Organ Mountains of New Mexico; elsewhere, long stipitate-glandular petioles are more common in the species.
The Navajo Indians took a decoction of roots of Heuchera novamexicana for internal pain. They applied a poultice of split roots to infected sores, swellings, and fractures, and used the plant as a panacea or "life medicine" (D. E. Moerman 1998).