Georgia Gardener Newsletter Cool Plant: April 2, 2009

Foam Flower
Tiarella spp.

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Species Native Range: Eastern U.S. & Canada
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4-9
Mature Size: 12 inches tall & wide
Exposure: Partial to full shade
Soil: Moist, high in organic material
Drought Tolerance: Good
Ease of Culture: Easy

Foam flower is a semi-evergreen perennial commonly found in moist woods and along streams throughout the eastern United States. In spring, 12-inch spikes are topped with "foamy" whitish-pink slightly frangrant flowers. After the flowers fade, the deeply lobed, occasionally variegated foliage remains handsome through the rest of the season.

Thanks to the efforts of plant breeders and horticulturists, especially Dr. Allan Armitage at UGA, many wonderful cultivars of this plant are available in retail nurseries.

Plant foam flower in partial to full shade in soil that is high in organic matter, moist but well-drained. Because of the small stature of this plant, put it at the front of woodland/shade beds or along paths. Remove the older leaves in the early spring just as the new growth is emerging. Fertilize in the spring with a slow-release organic product.

Good companion plants include native azaleas, woodland phlox, Virgnia bluebells and other early-blooming, shade-loving plants. Please see the related article "Native Spring Wildflowers" for a list of other companion plants.


Foam flower is readily available from most retail nurseries, especially in the spring. Please support your locally-owned nurseries. Also, the Georgia Native Plant Society will be holding its annual native plant sale on Saturday, April 25 from 10AM until 2PM at Stone Mountain Park.

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