This dainty perennial earns its name from the delicate clusters of white flowers that rise above the almost maple-like foliage. This is a good plant for shady gardens.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Ground cover,
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- North America
- Mixed border
- Small plant (6-12 inches),
- Low-growing plant (under 6 inches)
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily),
- Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
- Zone 3,
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7,
- Zone 8
- Moist, well-drained soil
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Late spring
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
Size and method of spreading
6 to 12 inches high and wide. There are two naturally occuring forms of foamflower. One form clump forming ground cover, but the other can spread by stolons to some degree. Clump-forming ground covers are plants that are not usually thought of as ground covers. They are perennials that can be planted closely together to provide the visual effect of a ground cover.
Requires a shady, moist site, but wet soils should be avoided.
Disease, pests, and problems
None serious, but slugs are a possible problem.
Native geographic location and habitat
Found in rich woods.
Lobed leaves (maple-like in shape) forming a low growing rosette. The shape may vary by cultivar.
Small white or pinkish flowers in clusters held on stalks above the leaves.
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
The fruit is a dry capsule; not ornamentally important.
Cultivars and their differences
Brandywine foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia 'Brandywine'): Rugose (textured) leaves with a center red blotch and bronze fall; this cultivar can spread by short stolons.
Elizabeth Oliver foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia 'Elizabeth Oliver'): Green leaves with maroon markings; light pink flowers.
Oakleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia 'Oakleaf'): Three-lobed leaves resemble oak leaves; some hints of red in fall.
Running Tapestry foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia 'Running Tapestry'): Heart-shaped leaf with a red blotch; spreads by runners.
Sugar and Spice foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia 'Sugar and Spice'): Heavy flower production; deep red markings on leaves, short stolons.