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Tiarella (tee-uh-REL-uh)

Common Name:  Foamflower

Light:  - Part shade to full shade

Soil:  Humus-rich, well-drained, woodland

Moisture:  Average to slightly dry, drought tolerant

Blooms:  Spring and early summer

Zones:  4 - 8


Tiarella 'Pirate's Patch' PP#14907

Tiarella 'Sugar and Spice' PP#16738

Tiarella Description and Cultural Information

Tiarella cordifolia, Allegheny foamflower. 6 - 10". This spreading wildflower has heart-shaped to triangular leaves with upright, 12" foamy clusters of white to pale-pink flowers in May. The variety collina is very similar but is non-running and clump forming.

Tiarella hybrids. Many new hybrids of T. cordifolia are now on the market, most of which have been bred for their interesting leaf shapes, though some have shown promise for larger, pinker, or longer blooming flowers. 'Iron Butterfly' PP#12396 is one of the most vigorous with deeply lobed leaves and a large black stripe in the middle. 'Spring Symphony' PP#12397 is very similar with long blooming flowers but faint markings. 'Sugar and Spice' PP#16738 has nice large leaves with dramatic markings and a very nice flower display. 'Lacquer Leaf' has glossy, maple-like leaves with a profusion of pink flowers. 'Pirate's Patch' PP#14907 has leaves similar to T. cordifolia but with better markings, great fall color and it makes a nice sized mound. There are many other hybrids, most quite similar in appearance.

How to Grow:  Foamflowers prefer to be grown just a little below the surface in humus-rich, well-drained soil in part to full shade. They don't mind some moisture but prefer to be dry in the winter. In the wild they grow in deciduous forests where there is a lot of leaf clutter, so they tend to grow upward over time. Becaue of this, care neeeds to be taken to make sure they never become exposed to drying winter winds. If the crown does become exposed it is best to cover them with compost or mulch, or lift and replant deeper as long as the soil is well-drained. Some spread quickly by runners, but most hybrids are clump forming. Division is best done in the fall, plus self-sown seedlings are fairly common.

Landscape uses:  Foamflowers are great spring plants that are right at home in the woodland garden. They work well with spring bulbs, Virginia bluebells (Mertensia), bleeding hearts (Dicentra), hostas, ferns, and Pulmonarias.

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