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Tiarella cordifolia (foamflower)

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Technical sheet - Tiarella
Species Distribution Map: Click to enlarge
Map Color Key © 2013 BONAP

Tiarella cordifolia


Foamflowers are commonly found in the woods of eastern North America, but not nearly often enough in gardens. They are easy to grow and many will spread when given moist soil high in organic matter and shade. In the early spring fairy wand flowers of white or light pink appear over green, deeply veined leaves which are often tinged with burgundy.

Tiarella cordifolia LP32 - 32 per flat Availability
Tiarella cordifolia - 72 per flat Availability
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8-12 Inches


12-18 Inches


12 Inches

Bloom Color


USDA Hardiness Zone 4-8

foamflower Interesting Notes

Tiarella cordifolia, or foamflower, has attractive heart-shaped leaves with occasional burgundy centers blooming in April and May. The cool white to soft pink flower spikes make a beautiful carpet in late spring, especially woven among other spring and summer woodland native plants in the shade garden. Commonly found in cool deciduous forests throughout the Northeast, foamflower grows in dense clumps that form colonies over time by stolon. Foamflower grows 12-18” tall and 12” wide. Not as popular as its well-known cousin, Heuchera, Tiarella blooms slightly earlier with wonderful fall color and evergreen basal leaves.

Tiarella cordifolia is found in shaded forests, swamps, and wetland margins from Ontario to Minnesota to Tennessee to Georgia. Preferring consistently moist, humus rich soil, foamflower does not like soil drying out or sitting in saturated soils during winter. With no serious pest or disease issues, T. cordifolia does best if planted en masse and spreads rapidly by runners.

Foamflower is a powerful and natural partner in a shade garden embracing spring ephemerals and graceful sedges. We love weaving it along border fronts, naturalistic plantings, shaded rock gardens, or in woodland gardens. A fresh groundcover, even as other items in the woodland garden begin to look tired in the summer, Tiarella cordifolia provides texture and color all year long. The foliage is astringent, usually deterring rabbits and deer from grazing unless they are extremely hungry. Early-season pollinators visit foamflower while other plants are still waking up in the spring.

Tiarella cordifolia Growing and Maintenance Tips

Prefers moist, rich organic soils in full to part shade. Stoloniferous and spreads quickly. Propagate by seed or spring division. Makes an excellent groundcover or edging for shady areas.

Good Substitutions

foamflower Tiarella 'Elizabeth Oliver'
foamflower Tiarella cordifolia 'Running Tapestry'
foamflower Tiarella cordifolia 'Brandywine'
foamflower Tiarella cordifolia var. collina 'Oakleaf'

Key Characteristics & Attributes

Full Shade
Full Shade
Part Sun
Part Sun

Additional Information

Soil Moisture Needs
Green Infrastructure
Wetland Indicator Status
Falcutative (FAC)
Plug Type
Horticultural Plug
Landscape Plug™
Native to North America
Ornamental Foliage
Season of Interest (Flowering)
Late Spring / Early Summer
Propagation Type
Open pollinated