Page author: David Giblin
Tiarella trifoliata
three-leaf foamflower

Distribution: Widely distributed throughout the forested areas of Washington; Alaska south to California, east to Alberta, Idaho and Montana.

Habitat: Moist woods and stream banks, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Herbaceous perennial from slender rhizomes, the flowering stems 2-3.5 dm. tall, glandular-pubescent.


Basal leaves with petioles 2-3 times as long as the blades; leaf blades highly variable, cordate, 1.5-8 cm. long and up to 12 cm broad, trifoliate and the leaflets deeply divided, or trifoliate and the leaflets shallowly lobed, or palmately 3- to 5 lobed; cauline leaves few and reduced.


Inflorescence an elongate, leafless panicle; calyx bell-shaped, irregular, the 5 lobes longer than the tubular section, the upper lobe the largest; petals 5, white, linear, similar to the filaments; stamens 10, the filaments opposite the petals much shorter that the alternate 5.


Ovary superior; carpels 2, unequal, 3-5 mm. and 7-10 mm. long respectively.

Accepted Name:
Tiarella trifoliata L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 406. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
var. laciniata – cut-leaved foamflower
var. trifoliata – three-leaf foamflower    West of the Cascades, Alaska to Oregon, and east through British Columbia and south into Montana
var. unifoliata – simple-leaved foamflower    In the Olympic Mountains and both sides of the Cascades, Alaska to California, east to Alberta and Montana
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Tiarella trifoliata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Tiarella trifoliata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Tiarella trifoliata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Tiarella trifoliata photos.

USDA Plants: Tiarella trifoliata information.

69 photographs:
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