FALSE MITERWORT COOLWORT FOAMFLOWER NANCYOVERTHEGROUND
(Tiarella cordifolia) Saxifrage family.
Flowers - White, small, feathery, borne in a close raceme at the
top of a scape 6 to 12 in. high. Calyx white, 9-lobed; 5 clawed
petals; 10 stamens, long-exserted; 1 pistil with 2 styles.
Leaves: Long-petioled from the
rootstock or runners, rounded or
broadly heart-shaped, 3 to 7-lobed, toothed, often downy along
Preferred Habitat - Rich, moist woods, especially along
Flowering Season - April-May.
Distribution - Nova Scotia to Georgia, and westward scarcely to
Fuzzy, bright white foam-flowers are most conspicuous in the
forest when seen against their unevenly colored leaves that
carpet the ground. A relative, the TRUE MITERWORT or BISHOP'S CAP
(Mittella diphylla), with similar foliage, except that two
opposite leaves may be found almost seated near the middle of its
hairy stem, has its flowers rather distantly scattered on the
raceme, and their fine petals deeply cut like fringe. Both
species may be found in bloom at the same time, offering an
opportunity for comparison to the confused novice. Now, tiarella,
meaning a little tiara, and mitella, a little miter, refer, of
course, to the odd forms of their seed-cases; but all of us are
not gifted with the imaginative eyes of Linnaeus, who named the
plants. Xenophon's assertion that the royal tiara or turban of
the Persians was encircled with a crown helps us no more to see
what Linnaeus saw in the one case than the fact that the papal
miter is encircled by three crowns helps in the other. And as for
the lofty, two-peaked cap worn by bishops in the Roman Church, a
dozen plants, with equal propriety, might be said to wear it.
Previous: EARLY SAXIFRAGE
Next: CAROLINA GRASS OF PARNASSUS
|ADD TO EBOOK