Tiarella Cordifolia is a low-growing attractive perennial that enjoys a moist and shady position. It is a native of the eastern North American woodlands, but is colloquially known as Coolwort or Foam Flower in the UK.
Tiarella cordifolia’s leaves are three to five lobed bright green ovals that gradually develop a reddish bronze tint in the autumn months. Despite being deciduous Coolwort is in leaf for a good part of year, and in flower from May to June. Blooms stand erect on slender stems just above the leaf cover and fall in delicate creamy-white racemes. Small buds appear first which swell and burst into tiny star-shapes.
Foam Flower is low-growing and perfect for ground cover. Clumps will reach a maximum height 30 to 50 centimetres and spread over the same distance. It will take approximately two to five years to reach these dimensions.
How Hardy is Tiarella Cordifolia?
Tiarella Cordifolia is hardy in most areas of the UK withstanding frosts and snows if its roots are not waterlogged.
How To Use Tiarella Cordifolia
As a low grower Foam Flower is a great choice to under-plant leggy roses or to cover bare ground beneath large shrubs. It enjoys shade, but will grow best in dappled shade where it has some protection from direct sunlight.
Plant clumps of Coolwort at the front of your border to maximise textures at ground level. If you have a wild garden you can allow Coolwort to creep along flower beds and cascade over edging where it will provide habitats for insects and small mammals or amphibians. Tiarella Cordifolia looks stunning planted alongside ferns and makes an excellent cool toned alternative to saxifrage and aubrietia
How To Care For Tiarella Cordifolia
Tiarella Cordifolia is easy to care for, and despite its moist foliage does not attract much attention from slugs and snails.
It grows best in humus-rich moist clay, loam or chalky earths, but will tolerate most types of soil except very dry. Tiarella cordifolia does not grow well in overly wet or waterlogged conditions either.
Pruning is not required but it can be tidied up by removing spent flowers and dead leaves.
Foam Flower is a useful plant in a shady garden. It grows without fuss, produces glorious foliage and flowers in summer to add interest. The RHS have given Coolwort the Award of Garden Merit for its attributes. If you are looking for attractive ground cover in a shady garden, you can’t go wrong with Tiarella Cordifolia.
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