University of Maryland Extension

Tiarella, Allegheny foamflower

Text and photo by Ellen Nibali

Tiarella cordifolia

Tiarella is royalty among native ground covers.  Attractiveness peaks in late spring with bottlebush flowers arise with dainty white to pink “stars” on dark flower stalks.  The maple leaf-shaped foliage slowly spreads to form a mat of overlapping leaves about 6-10 inches above the ground. Like its relative, heuchera, many cultivars are available that capitalize on colored leaf veins and lobe crevasses to contrast with the green. Pollinators visit tiarella, and fall color is red. This forest native likes moist, organic-rich, acidic soil.  It spreads by running stolons that root on contact with soil, and it seeds. If frost heave exposes the base, simply recover with soil.   

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