Tiarella, commonly known as foamflower owing to the frothy appearance of its clusters of star-like white blooms, is native to Ontario. The photographs above and below were taken by Seabrooke this spring in a moist woodland near Perth, Ontario. Its full name is Tiarella cordifolia. Cordifolia means heart-leaved, although maple-leaf-shaped might be more accurate. The genus name comes from the Greek tiara, which once meant turban, referring to the shape of the fruit. However, I prefer to think of the dazzling crown of flowers that the plants produce as their shining tiara.
Tiarellas make lovely additions to the shade garden, and there are a number of hybrids available to the home gardener. I currently have three varieties. They all are tidy, compact plants that are very showy through the month of May. Here is Tiarella ‘Sugar and Spice’, catching the morning sun.
Photographed below is Tiarella wherryi.
And finally, here is Tiarella ‘Mystic Mist’.
Mystic Mist has very distinctive leaves speckled with white. They remind me of the splatter painting kids do with a toothbrush. Even after this tiarella is finished blooming, the leaves still brighten a shady corner nicely.