Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Allegheny Foamflower, False Mitrewort, Running Foam Flower
Tiarella cordifolia

Family: Saxifragaceae (saks-ih-frag-AY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Tiarella (tee-uh-RELL-a) (Info)
Species: cordifolia (kor-di-FOH-lee-uh) (Info)

6 vendors have this plant for sale.

21 members have or want this plant for trade.

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6-12 in. (15-30 cm)

9-12 in. (22-30 cm)

USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)
USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)
USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)
USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)
USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)
USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)
USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)
USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

Sun Exposure:
Light Shade

Bloom Color:
White/Near White

Bloom Time:
Mid Spring
Late Spring/Early Summer
Blooms repeatedly


Other details:
Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Soil pH requirements:
6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)
7.6 to 7.8 (mildly alkaline)
7.9 to 8.5 (alkaline)

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
By dividing the rootball
From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall
From seed; stratify if sowing indoors
By simple layering
By serpentine layering

Seed Collecting:
Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds
Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

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7 positives
1 neutral
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive plant_it On May 20, 2013, plant_it from Valparaiso, IN wrote:

Foamflower is one of the showiest of all spring-blooming wildflowers and an excellent shade garden plant. Blends beautifully with other native species such as crested iris (Iris crostata), wild columbine, cranesbill, labrador violet and woodland phlox (Phlox divaracata).

Spreads by underground stems, forms colonies, and makes excellent groundcover for shady, wooded sites.

Michigan is at the western edge of the range of this species, which is native to woods from Nova Scotia to the eastern edge of Wisconsin and south through the Appalachians to Georgia and Mississippi.

The large white flower spikes are often accented with a tinge of pink, with handsome 'mapleleaf' foliage that stays attractive all summer, and turns a beautiful red in autumn. Tiarella cordifolia requires a rich soil. Hardy to Zones 4 - 7.

Neutral RosemaryK On Apr 28, 2013, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

I bought the 'Oakleaf' cultivar from Garden in the Woods. It is supposed to be tough enough for New England weather. This cultivar is a clumping type with burgundy-bronze new growth, small green oak-shaped leaves z 4-9. I think I'll see if this is any tougher than the more commercial cultivars.

Positive SinclairA On May 27, 2010, SinclairA from Coatesville, PA wrote:

Once native...and "common" from ME to GA, west to the Mississippi River, and north to the Canadian border and beyond. This plant is now endangered in 2 states, and yet delightfully easy to grow and multiply! Some of the T cordifolia individuals are running type plants and some clumping, many leaf shapes and color patterns. This plant has winter/ fall color change and takes on a darker or red hued look. Tiarella also feeds at least five families of pollinator bee type insects, and helps with water quality by taking up unwanted elements from surface water, and protecting against soil erosion. A number of plant breeders have produced excellent garden worthy forms, and the species is available in all it's diversity generated from seed. Heartleaf Foamflowers are great garden plants and good for ecology too!

Positive jleigh On May 16, 2010, jleigh from Ballston Lake, NY (Zone 5a) wrote:

I just love these beautiful "fluffy" flowers. While on a hike in the Adirondacks recently I came upon a few patches of this growing wild. It did seem to prefer more sun that the varieties I have at home. I absolutely love this plant and would recommend it to anyone with a woodland garden. Though I myself still don't have it, as I am not inclined to disturb the natural flora any more than possibly taking a picture.

Positive Malus2006 On Feb 23, 2008, Malus2006 from Coon Rapids, MN (Zone 4a) wrote:

This species seem to prefer more toward sun - but will grow in shade but other groundcover - even vinca minor would outcompete it in partial shade for me. Will grow in even poor soil but is not suited for high stress locations. In shade, it tend to start out in patches in spring and then send out runners, partially cover bare spots.

Positive northgrass On May 24, 2007, northgrass from West Chazy, NY (Zone 4b) wrote:

A wild flower thriving in our woods here in Northern New York. A small clump planted in a shady and rather dry nook near the garage colonized happily and quickly. The flowers are delightful and the foliage remains attractive through Summer. The roots form a thick surface mat that is relatively easy to lift and remove so although fast spreading, I find it quite easy to keep in bound.
If you have a corner where few other plants will do well and would like a nice ground cover, consider this carefree plant.

Positive Lady_fern On Oct 22, 2006, Lady_fern from Jeffersonville, IN (Zone 6a) wrote:

I purchased mine from Prairie Nursery 4 years ago and have been very pleased with the plants. They are the clumping variety, so they stay where you put them! The clump gets a little larger each year and is easily dug and divided in the early spring if you want more. My poor plants get divided every spring! They are flourishing under the walnut tree and under the maple tree where they make rivers of foamy flowers in the spring. (It's too dark under the pine tree and too dry along the NE wall of the house for them.)

The flowers are great in little bouquets. They are easily deadheaded to prevent self-seeding or you can collect the seedheads and scatter the seeds immediately where you want them. The seed does not store well.

I have the cultivar 'Spanish Cross' as well, but it is puny and pathetic compared to the species even if the flowers are pinkish and the leaves different.

Positive lupinelover On Jul 2, 2002, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Somewhat difficult plant to get established, but carefree once going. Dry soil will kill it quickly in its first year, but after that tolerates drought.

'Cygnet' has poor seed set, so blooms repeatedly late spring into mid summer. Flowers are light pink with darker pink vens, many individual flowers on spikes make the plant's bloom period longer even than the species.


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Auburn, Alabama
Cullman, Alabama
Huntsville, Alabama
Machesney Park, Illinois
Jeffersonville, Indiana
Valparaiso, Indiana
Halifax, Massachusetts
Newton Highlands, Massachusetts
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Ballston Lake, New York
Coatesville, Pennsylvania
Viola, Tennessee
Mansfield, Texas

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