Tiarella

Tiarella flowers

Low-growing, spreading perennials with attractive foliage and short spikes of fluffy flowers. Most varieties make handsome ground-cover for light shade.

Family: Saxifragaceae
Botanical Name: Tiarella
Common Names: Foam flower, coolwort, false mitrewort

Foliage: Deciduous, rounded or pointed, palmately lobed leaves. Good autumn colour.

Flowers: Erect stems topped with small, star-shaped flowers in terminal clusters.

Flowering Period: Summer.

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

Conditions: Full shade or partial shade. Plant in a north, east, west or south facing aspect.

Habit: Low growing, clump forming.

Type: Rhizomatous herbaceous perennial.

Origin: Asia and North America.

Hardiness: Hardy in most parts of the UK.

Planting and Growing Tiarella

Plant mid autumn or early spring in a shady cool site. Thrives in moist but well-drained, humus rich soil. Dislikes chalky soil.

Best grown in a cool, shady site that does not dry out in summer. Ideal for shady borders or under the dappled shade of trees.

Taking Care of Tiarella

Water well in dry weather. Mulch in spring with well rotted garden compost or leaf mould. Protect from hot sun and excessive winter wet.

Pruning Tiarella

Cut back at the end of the season.

Pests and Diseases

Generally trouble free.

Propagating Tiarella

Sow seed under the protection of a cold frame in spring. Once seedlings are large enough to handle, prick out into individual pots and plunge in nursery bed ready for planting out the following spring. Keep moist at all times.

Divide plants or dig-up outside growths, in autumn or early spring. Replant immediately.

Popular Varieties of Tiarella

Tiarella cordifolia is a low carpeting form with soft green, pointed, lobed leaves, often tinted or spotted with bronze. Erect spikes of tiny cream flowers in May-June. Height up to 12in (30cm), spread 2ft (60cm) or more.

Tiarella trifoliata (Three-leaved Foamflower, Western Foamflower) has three leaves that are fully cut to the leafstalk. Tiny white flowers appear in loose clusters on narrow branched racemes, in summer. Variety 'unifoliata' is similar but the leaves are lobed but not cut.

Tiarella wherryi is a less vigorous form producing neat, tufted clumps of pointed leaves, which colour well in autumn. Height 6-12in (15-30cm), spread 12in (30cm) or more.

Tiarella polyphylla is a taller semi-evergreen form with white or light-pink flowers. Height to 20in (50cm).

Tiarella 'Pink Skyrocket' (PBR) has deeply lobed green leaves topped with cone-shaped clusters of tight, pink buds, opening to tiny white, star-shaped flowers. For sale at Crocus.

Tiarella 'Spring Symphony' (PBR) attractive, deeply lobed leaves with a small dark blotch in the centre. Spikes of tiny star-shaped, blush white flowers in summer. For sale at Crocus.