(tee-air-ell' ah)

Common name: Foamflower, False Mitrewort

Family: Saxifragaceae, Saxifrage

Height x width: 6-12" x 12-24"

Growth rate: moderate to fast

Foliage: basal on long petioles or stoloniferous stems, slightly hairy leaves and stems, generally ovate to cordate, variously toothed or lobed, occasionally with dark red markings

Flowers: white to pinkish on 6-9" tall racemes above foliage in late spring to early summer

Hardiness: zones 3-6 to 8

Soil: moist, well-drained

Light: part to full shade, may tolerate sun in North if sufficient moisture

Pests and Problems: powdery mildew if insufficient air movement

Landscape habit, uses: groundcover (spreading cultivars), shade garden or borders, natural woodland garden in masses for best effect

Other interest: from the Greek word tiara or small crown, refering to the shape of the fruit; much breeding in recent years, with over 100 cultivars on the market from Terra Nova (OR), Charles Oliver (PA), Sinclair Adam (PA), and Don Jacobs (GA). New series from S. Adam include the river series (spreading), named after PA rivers and the Diva series (clumping), named after prominent horticulturists.

Other culture: low maintenance

Propagation: division of clumps or rooted plantlets on stoloniferous cultivars, seed


*cordifolia (cor-di-fol' ee-ah)--Allegheny Foamflower, native to eastern N. America, zones 3-8, 6-12", stoloniferous

cordifolia var. collina: wherryi

polyphylla (pol-ee-phil' ah)--native to Asia, zones 4-8, similar to cordifolia only flower more nodding and racemes more branched

trifoliata (tri-fol-ee-ah' tah)--Three-leaved Foamflower, native to western N. America, differs from other species having three-leaflets and minute flowers with thread-like petals, also less tolerant of heat and humidity in eastern U.S.

*wherryi (where' ee-yii)--Wherry's Foamflower, depending on reference and authority may be listed as cordifolia var. collina, native to S.E. U.S., zones 3-8, clump-forming and taller than cordifolia


Those marked * are most common in U.S. commerce, although species are more commonly seen. Most newer cultivars are hybrids of the above, especially cordifolia and wherryi.
Cultivar species habit foliage, other
*'Brandywine' cordifolia spreads dark red centers
'Dark Eyes' cordifolia spreads burgundy centers
'Dunvegan' wherryi clumps 5-lobed 
'Eco Eyed Glossy' cordifolia spreads glossy
'Eco Red Heart' cordifolia spreads deep red centers
'Eco Splotched Velvet' cordifolia spreads velvety surface, dark red at base
'Erika Leigh' wherryi clumps deeply 3-lobed with central lobe longest
'Filagree Lace' hybrid clumps trifoliata x cordifolia, deeply lobed
'Freckles' cordifolia spreads red spotted
'George Shenk Pink' wherryi clumps pink flowers
'Inkblot' cordifolia spreads dark green blotched red
'Laird of Skye' wherryi clumps deeply lobed
*'Moorgrun' polyphylla spreads slow spread, many flowers
'Oakleaf' wherryi clumps 3-lobed as some oak leaves, one of original cultivars
*Pink Bouquet' hybrid clumps many flowers
'Pinwheel' cordifolia spreads vigorous, starry white flowers
(Eco) 'Running Tapestry' cordifolia spreads heart-shaped, slight red veins
'Slick Rock' cordifolia spreads 5-lobes, vigorous
*'Spring Symphony' hybrid clumps narrow leaf segments, dark stripes in centers, pink fls.
'Tiger Stripe' cordifolia spreads light green with red veins
'Winterglow' wherryi clumps large flecked red, golden in fall

©Authored by Dr. Leonard Perry, Professor, University of Vermont as part of PSS123 course.

Return to  Perry's Perennial Pages | HGPO course | PSS123 course