Breeder Profile: Dan Heims

Dan Heims of Terra Nova Nurseries
Dan Heims, co-owner of Terra Nova Nurseries in Oregon, is the name most people associate with the genus Heuchera, and for good reason.  Dan and his team of talented hybridizers at Terra Nova are responsible for introducing over 700 new varieties of perennials to horticulture, including their first commercial introduction, Heuchera s. 'Snowstorm' in the late 1980s. 

Many of the most popular Heucheras offered today were introduced by Terra Nova including 'Obsidian' PP14836 and 'Peach Flambe' PP17195 (two of Dan's favorites) as well as 'Hollywood' PP17129, 'Midnight Rose' PP18551, and many others.  To learn more about the genus Heuchera, check out Heucheras and Heucherellas by Dan Heims and Grahame Ware (Timber Press, 1995).

So how did Dan become interested in hybridizing and discovering new plants to begin with?  He fondly quotes Walt Disney in response: "It's kind of fun to do the impossible".  Dan revels in the discovery of new plants and encourages more people to play in their gardens to explore the incredible genetic variations possible in the plant world.  He is always on the lookout for new genera and hybrids, though these days he has a crew of talented hybridizers working with him at Terra Nova to continue the magic he started years ago.  We all look forward to the exciting new varieties that are sure to come in the future.