Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Foamflower (also known as Heartleaf Foamflower) is a herbaceous plant that grows in the Adirondack MOuntains, bearing small, white, feathery flowers in spring. The flowers form a long terminal cluster on a leafless stalk. Each flower is 1/4 inch wide and has five small blunt sepals and five delicate white petals. The long, slender stamens give the spikes of white flowers a frothy appearance. The attractive leaves are heart-shaped, two to four inches long and sharply toothed. The plant is six to 12 inches high. Foamflower spreads by underground stems and forms colonies.
Foamflower is part of the Saxifrage family. Because it resembles Miterwort, it is sometimes called False Miterwort. The genus name (Tiarella) is from the Greek tiara, designating a turban once worn by the Persians, and is said to refer to the shape of the seed capsule.
The plant thrives in rich or moist woodlands in the mountains. It grows in swampy, deciduous woods and along streams. It can be found in eastern North America, from Nova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, south to Michigan, Georgia and Virginia.
Foamflower may be seen on many of the trails at the Paul Smiths VIC. It usually begins blooming in May.
- Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. Native Plant Database.
- United States Department of Agriculture. Plants Database.
- Plants for a Future. Database.
- Flora of North America. Plant Database.
- Anne McGrath. Wildflowers of the Adirondacks (EarthWords, 2000), p. 11.
- Doug Ladd. North Woods Wildflowers (Falcon Publishing, 2001), p. 226.
- Lawrence Newcomb. Newcomb's Wildflower Guide (Little Brown and Company, 1977), pp. 178-179.
- Roger Tory Peterson and Margaret McKenny. A Field Guide to Wildflowers. Northeastern and North-central North America (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1968) pp. 68-69.
- William K. Chapman, et al. Wildflowers of New York in Color (Syracuse University Press, 1998), pp. 8-9.