Tiarella ‘Iron Butterfly’
Tiarella ‘Iron Butterfly’ has deeply incised palmate leaves with the ‘fingers’ cut 3/4 of the way to the palm. All sections are strongly marked giving the whole leaf the suggestion of a purple black star with green margins. Colouring is Apple green on the young leaves, becoming dark green and textured with age. Flowers typical, little white stars with long exerted anthers tipped with orange pollen. The stems are suffused with rosy purple which pervades the buds giving the top of the pyramidal spike a warm glow.
Foam Flowers – Tiarella
Foam flower is a very apt name for this lovely evergreen ground cover plant. From a mass of conical pink buds, like a drift of birthday candles on a cake, opens a frothy cloud of white feathery flowers. These seem to flower on and on for weeks from April to June. The handsome foliage is shaped like a maple leaf, often deeply cleft and decorated with a dark purple star. They also have a velvety bristly texture. Tiarella provides easy, maintenance free, year round value in the garden where it will happily tolerate full shade or full sun. Whilst they prefer moister soil, I have found them quite tolerant of drier Summers. This is especially true when given a little bit of shade.
Tiarella is a native of North America. The American Indians value it as a remedy for mouth ulcers and many digestive disorders. This is on account of its high tannin content.
Tiarella enjoy the same conditions as Heuchera, with the proviso that they have a greater requirement for moisture and shade than their cousins. Given moist shade they will grow lovely mats of ground cover, interesting in both leaf and flower and frequently exhibiting good leaf colour in the Autumn.
Tiarella is the diminutive form of the Greek word for a diadem or small crown or even turban. It is reference to the shape of the fruits. Though we have also read it refers to the way the stamens protrude from the small flowers and form a point like a crown.
Tiarella – False Mitrewort, Sugar Scoop, Foam Flower