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Tiarella cordifolia - heartleaved foamflower

Tiarella cordifolia ©Susanna

Heartleaved foamflower with white flowers resembles the inflorescence of native False Lily of the Valley (Maianthemum bifolium) and is an excellent ground-cover for the partial shade and moist place with lacy flowers that rise above the leaves. It spreads easily with runners but not until a nuisance. It is also easy to increase from the runners.

The leaves are bright green and slightly angular heart-shaped. They are semi evergreen and they get reddish winter color. There are many cultivars of the heartleaved foamflower that have different, especially red-veined, leaf forms.

Heartleaved foamflower is native in North America where it can form large covers in mountain forests with spotted geranium (Geranium maculatum) and wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata). Heartleaved foamflower is related to coral bells (Heuchera) and their intergeneric hybrids are called foamy bells ( × Heucherella).


Thalictrum rochebruneanum - lavender mist meadow rue


The large Genus of the meadow rues (Thalictrum) consists of many garden worthy perennials. One of the best is the lavender mist meadow rue. It is showy already in the spring when its burgundy frosted shoots hold blueish-green delicate leaves as layers in a half-shady woodland clearings. The flowers appear not until in August and look like air floating fairies when hanging in a sparse cymose inflorescence. The flowers are pale violet about two centimeters in diameter and there is a bunch of yellow stamens at the center of the flower. The blooming period is quite long since there are plenty of pearl-shaped buds to be opened.

In Mustila lavender mist meadow rues flourish well even if in shady places they may need support from the neighboring plants. Their flowering that can be noticed even from far is a very welcomed addition to the few late summer bloomers. The seed production is plentiful but hardly any seedlings have been observed in the open field. So one must specifically start sowing.


Epimedium × rubrum - red barrenwort


The Rhododendron valley is an splendid place for shade-loving ground-cover plants. Also the red barrenwort (red bishop's hat) thrives there. When the new leaves appear in spring they are colored in red. Simultaneously opening small but numerous four-pointed flowers have red sepals and pale yellow petals. The flowers will soon disappear under the dense new growth. The leaves are thin, tough and light green during the summer. In autumn they turn again to reddish-brown color.

The red barrenwort is a hybrid of the garden origin from the middle of the 19th century. Its parental is alpine barrenwort (E. alpinum), native in Southern and Central Europe, and large flowered barrenwort (E. grandiflorum) from Asia. This hybrid is a reliable shade perennial and therefore still common even if the commercial availability barrenworts has remarkably increased during this millenium.

Barrenworts belong in the family Berberidaceae which is known for the thorny shrubs. Equally the leaves of red barrenwort are circled by sharp but very tiny thorns.


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