December 14, 2019

Made in the Shade


Faith Pineo Photo - Tiarella or foamflower

Finding plants for shady areas can be a challenge, but Tiarella is a native of North America that makes an excellent groundcover in fully shaded gardens. Commonly known as the foamflower, the plant requires moist conditions and soil rich in humus, often the case in the understory of a wooded area. Like many shade-loving species, the spikes of star-shaped flowers are quietly showy, rising high above the low-growing plant itself. The variety pictured above is likely Tiarella ‘Butterfly Wings,’ so named because of its leaves. According to, “… the leaves are separated into five separate sections. The two on each side are usually raised above the central section, so that the leaves resemble butterflies about to take flight. In addition the centers of the leaves are heavily marked with maroon.”