Tiarella cordifolia L.
Heartleaf Foamflower, Heart-leaf Foamflower
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)
USDA Symbol: tico
Long, slender stamens give heart-leaf foamflower’s spikes of white flowers a frothy appearance. The small, star-shaped flowers occur in compact racemes on 6-16 in. stalks rising above a mound of attractive, lobed leaves. The flower stalk lacks leaves in the northeastern part of the plant’s range, but bears heart-shaped leaves in the South. Mature plants send out runners, creating sizeable colonies with time. This is a perennial plant. Small, white to pinkish flowers are in a feathery, somewhat elongated, terminal cluster.
This attractive wildflower, which spreads by underground stems, forms colonies, and makes excellent groundcover for shady, wooded sites. The tiny flowers and fine texture of the stamens resemble foam and account for the common name. The genus name is from the Greek tiara, designating a turban once worn by the Persians, and refers to the shape of the pistil.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
Bloom Notes: White to pinkish, occasionally purplish.
DistributionUSA: AL , CT , GA , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MS , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , SC , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: NB , NS , ON , QC
Native Distribution: N.B. to s. Ont. & MI, s. to GA & MS
Native Habitat: Cool, moist, deciduous woods; stream banks
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, well-drained, humus-rich soils.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Propagation is easiest by dividing the runners or crowns in fall or spring. Plant the divisions about a foot apart. Seeds collected from mature fruits can be planted immediately or sown in the spring. Germination is high, but the seedlings grow slowly.
Seed Collection: The small black seeds are generally ready for collection about one month after the first flowers open. There will be progressive maturation of seed from the bottom of the stalk to the top. Cleaned seeds should be stored in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: No special treatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
Mr. Smarty Plants says
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June 13, 2006
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National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Delaware Nature Society - Hockessin, DE
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 1294 - The Midwestern Native Garden: Native Alternatives to Nonnative Flowers and Plants An Illustrated Guide (2011) Adelman, Charlotte and Schwartz, Bernard L.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Tiarella cordifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Tiarella cordifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Tiarella cordifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-28
Research By: TWC Staff