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Plant Description


Tiarella cordifolia L.

En: heartleaf foamflower, foamflower, false mitrewort
Fr: tiarelle cordifoliée, tiarelle à feuilles cordées

Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage Family)

Click on thumbnail to see larger image.
Tiarella cordifoliaflpl Tiarella cordifoliainf


General: A perennial forb spreading by long runners (stolons), the flowering stems 1–3.5 dm tall.

Leaves: Basal, simple, divided into 3–5 shallow palmate lobes, palmately-veined, hairy, long-petiolate. Leaf blades cordate-ovate, 5–10 cm long; basal lobes rounded; apex pointed (acute); margins with coarse rounded teeth (crenate-serrate).

Flowers: Bisexual, white, 2.5–5 mm long, with several flowers arranged in an erect raceme, 3–15 cm tall; flower stalks (pedicels) 7–13 mm long. Axis of the raceme, flower stalks (pedicels), and lower surface of the calyx bearing short glandular hairs. Calyx with 5, white, oblong-obovate lobes, 2–3.5 mm long; petals 5, white to pink-tinged, elliptic, with pointed tips, 3–5 mm long; stamens 10, longer than the petals, 4–7 mm long; pistils 2, united at the base, elongate, the 2 separate styles gradually tapering to the small stigma. Flowers bloom in early June.

Fruit: 2 small follicles of unequal size, the larger 8–12 mm long. Fruits mature in summer.

Habitat and Range: Rich moist to wet deciduous forest stands. Tiarella cordifolia is native to eastern North America and eastern Asia; in northern Ontario is ranges as far north as the Batchawana area (Algoma District).

Internet Images: The Tiarella cordifolia webpage from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.

Similar Species: In southern Ontario, the basal leaves of Tiarella cordifolia may be confused with those of Mitella diphylla (two-leaved mitrewort) or Heuchera americana (alumroot), but the latter species do not extend into northern Ontario. These two species can be separated easily from Tiarella by the shape of their flowers.

Compare Tiarella to the Mitella diphylla and Heuchera americana webpages from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.

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