Tellima flowers

A low-growing, shade tolerant perennial, topped with spikes of small green-yellow flowers in spring. Related to Tiarella, it is ideal for shaded woodland areas or ground cover in light shade.

Family: Saxifragaceae
Botanical Name: Tellima (te-li-ma)
Common Names: Fringecup, fringe cups

Foliage: Deciduous or semi-evergreen, bright green, rounded lobed leaves. The colour changes to an attractive marbled maroon in autumn.

Flowers: Spikes of small bell-shaped flowers. Initially light green but maturing to light yellow with pink fringes.

Flowering Period: Late spring.

Soil: Moist but well-drained soil (chalk, sand or loam). Acid, alkaline or neutral pH.

Conditions: Best in partial shade. Plant in a north, east or west facing aspect, in a sheltered position.

Habit: Low growing, clump forming.

Type: Herbaceous perennial.

Origin: North America

Hardiness: Hardy in the UK.

Planting and Growing Tellima

Easy to grow. Thrives in any light, humus-rich, moisture retentive soil, in partial shade. Tellimas can tollerate dryish soils once established but need moist conditions if planted in full sun.

Spreads naturally in moist shaded areas, providing excellent ground cover. Associates well with hardy ferns.

Taking Care of Tellima

Mulch in spring to retain moisture. Lift and divide established clumps every three or four years to reinvigorate.

Pruning Tellima

Cut back faded flower stems at the end of the season.

Pests and Diseases

Generally trouble free, although slugs can attack the young leaves.

Propagating Tellima

Easily increased by division during the dormant season.

Alternatively, sow ripe seed thinly in the open ground in spring. Thin out once large enough to handle, to about 8in (20cm) apart. Readily self-seeds if the mature seed heads are not removed.

Varieties of Tellima

The only species is T. grandiflora (large flowered).

Tellima grandiflora is a low-growing compact perennial with erect spikes of small, cream or greenish-white flowers from late spring onwards. Height 18in (45cm) or more. For sale at Crocus. Cultivars include:

  • 'Purpurea' purplish leaves topped with pink edged, pale green flowers.
  • 'Odorata' pale green sweetly scented flowers.