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Tiarella

Foamflower, Sugar-scoop
Saxifragaceae
Perennials, Flowers

Clump-forming plants to about 1 1/2 ft. tall (in bloom) and 1 1/2–2 ft. wide; spread by rhizomes (and by aboveground runners, in the case of T. cordifolia). Leaves arise directly from rhizomes; they are evergreen but may change color in autumn. Selections with year-round colorful foliage are becoming popular; look for new introductions in addition to those described below. Narrow, erect flower stems carry many small white or pink flowers. Useful in shady rock gardens; make pretty groundcovers but will not bear foot traffic.

Tiarella ‘Pink Skyrocket’ (photo courtesy of Jacqui Dracup/Garden World Images)
Tiarella ‘Pink Skyrocket’ (photo courtesy of Jacqui Dracup/Garden World Images)

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Tiarella selections and hybrids

Many of the choicest foamflowers are of uncertain origin. ‘Cygnet’ has star-shaped leaves with purple markings along the veins; its white flowers open from pink buds. In ‘Mint Chocolate’, deeply lobed leaves have a central zone of deep brownish purple; flowers are pinkish white. ‘Neon Lights’ has large, deeply cut leaves with wide, black centers and bright green edges. ‘Pink Skyrocket’ has large, fragrant, light pink flowers and deeply cut leaves with a small black center; leaves turn almost black in winter.

Tiarella trifoliata unifoliata

Native from Alaska to Northern California, east to the Rocky Mountains. Dark green leaves divided into three tooth-edged leaflets. Tiny white flowers on 1 1/2-ft. stalks are followed by little fruits that look like sugar scoops.

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