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Tiarella - Foam Flower for the Woodland Garden

See our in-depth article on Foam Flowers


The foam flower genus Tiarella is a North American native and a wonderful shade plant. Foam flowers produce small clumps of green foliage, often with attractive black vein patterns, and the plants are topped in spring with small white flower clusters. In the autumn, Tiarella leaves take on a reddish cast as the weather cools. Foam flowers grow as hosta-like clumps or as runners depending on the species. If you are looking for an esoteric native plant, then Tiarella is for you. Foam flowers may not remain esoteric for long. Breeders such as Terra Nova Nurseries and the Primrose Path Nursery are actively working with foam flowers to create hybrids with colorful leaves not seen in nature. The new variations include leaves with prominent colorful patterned veins called feathers.

Foam flowers are related to heuchera and the two have been crossed to create heucherella. If you are familiar with the relatives like Heuchera you have some idea of the conditions that Tiarella likes...partial shade, well-drained soils and consistent moisture. If the conditions are right, Tiarella will spread via stolons and fill in an are quite nicely...yet at the same time it is not an invasive groundcover like ivy. Unlike their botanical cousins, Foam flowers do not need frequent dividing to maintain vigor. That and the fact that it is not an invasive spread makes Tiarella perfect for the low maintenance gardener. Hummingbirds like the spiky flowers as much as we do.

Tiarella looks great when grown in a mass but also pairs well with epimedium, bletilla, and the smaller hostas.

Foam flower trivia : Tiarella is a latinized version of the term 'little tiara' or 'little crown' which refers to the shape of the fruit.

Welcome to Plant Delights Nursery at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens. We are a private research and display botanic garden located near Raleigh, North Carolina (USDA Hardiness Zone 7b). Our retail mail order division allows us to make the best perennials from our trials available to gardeners around the world, some of which were developed here, some from our plant explorations, and others from breeders around the world. Between 1988 and 2010, Plant Delights Nursery introduced over 500 new perennial plants to US horticulture. In 2002, we were honored to be recognized by the American Horticulture Society for our lifetime of work in commercial horticulture. This image gallery is but a sampling of the great perennial plants available for gardeners around the world. We do not carry all plants pictured at any one time, but since our mission is to educate and inspire, we hope these images and the linked articles below will expand your garden horizons and interest. You will find an array of other interesting information and fascinating perennials throughout our website...thank you for taking time to visit.