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Heart-leaved Foam-flower (Tiarella cordifolia)


Life history

Species overview

Heart-leaved Foam-flower (Tiarella cordifolia), a State Endangered plant, is found in very rich, well-drained mesic hardwood forests (sometimes with hemlock present). Blooming occurs early May through early June; fruiting occurs late June through late July. The optimal identification period for this species is late May through early June.

Synonyms: None

Identification

  • Distinguishing characteristics: Although its leaves are similar to Mitella diphylla (bishop's cap), Tiarella cordifolia has entire (vs. deeply cleft) petals.
  • Flower characteristics: Petals white, clawed, linear to elliptic; stamens 10.
  • Fruit characteristics: Fruit thin-walled, the larger carpal 10 mm, the smaller one often only half as long.
  • Leaf characteristics: Basal, broadly cordate-ovate to subrotund, shallowly 3 to 5 lobed, sparsely hairy, with rounded teeth around the margin.

Phenology

  • Blooming phenology: early May through early June
  • Fruiting phenology: late June through late July
  • Optimum time to identify: late May through early June

Other

  • Growth form: Forb-erect
  • Vegetative reproduction: Rhizomatous
  • Life cycle: Perennial
  • Comments: Associated Species: Acer saccharum, Betula alleghaniensis, Tilia americana, Tsuga canadensis, Mitella diphylla, Hydrophyllum virginianum, Galium triflorum, Claytonia spp., Erythronium spp., Carya cordiformis.

State status

Status and Natural Heritage Inventory documented occurrences in Wisconsin

The table below provides information about the protected status - state and federal - and the rank (S and G Ranks) for Heart-leaved Foam-flower (Tiarella cordifolia). See the Working List Key for more information about abbreviations. Counties shaded blue have documented occurrences for this species in the Wisconsin Natural Heritage Inventory database. The map is provided as a general reference of where this species has been found to date and is not meant as a range map.


Documented locations of Tiarella cordifolia in the Natural Heritage Inventory Database as of March 2012.

Summary Information
State StatusEND
Federal Status in Wisconsinnone
State RankS1
Global RankG5
Tracked by NHIY

Habitats and landscapes

The Natural Heritage Inventory has developed scores indicating the degree to which each of Wisconsin's rare plant species is associated with a particular natural community or ecological landscape. This information is similar to that found in the Wildlife Action Plan for animals. As this is a work in progress, we welcome your suggestions and feedback.

General habitat information

  • Habitat description: Found in very rich, well-drained mesic hardwood forests (sometimes with hemlock present).
  • Soils: Loamy soil.

Natural communities

This table lists the natural communities that are associated with Heart-leaved Foam-flower. Scores for natural community associations are: "significant" association (score=3), "moderate association" (score=2) or the species can be present but is only weakly associated with the community (score=1).

Natural communities score
Northern Mesic Forest 3

Ecological landscapes

This table lists the ecological landscape association scores for Heart-leaved Foam-flower. The scores (3=High, 2=Moderate, 1=Low, 0=None) also correspond to the map.

Map of the Ecological Landscapes of Wisconsin.

Species guidance

The Endangered Resources Program has developed avoidance measures and management guidelines for plants on the Natural Heritage Working List. These are a work in progress, and we welcome your suggestions and feedback. Sources used in developing this information can be found here.

Heart-leaved Foam-flower (Tiarella cordifolia) has very few known occurrences in the state and is of the highest priority for conservation; we encourage you to consult with your District Ecologist or NHI Botanist for specific recommendations for your site.

Avoidance measures

These are specific actions designed to avoid "take" (mortality) of this species.

  • Avoid known individual plant locations and conduct operations elsewhere when they are least likely to cause damage. Ideally, this would involve frozen, snow-covered ground. However, in areas of the state where frozen conditions are unreliable, very dry soils late in the growing season might be the best available alternative. Consult with a biologist, if needed.
  • Avoid locating landings, staging areas, or access routes on or near known populations.
  • Avoid broadcast spraying of herbicides; use care with spot spraying.
  • Avoid site preparation that heavily disturbs herbaceous ground layer and soil; these include bulldozing and furrowing, as well as grubbing and stump removal.

Management guidance

Management guidelines are additional considerations that may help maintain or enhance habitat for this species

  • Maintain high forest canopy cover; this species requires shaded habitat conditions.
  • Follow BMPs, especially around streams and use care near ravines, steep slopes, cliffs, rock outcrops, etc.
  • Buffer management around unique microhabitats such as ephemeral ponds, seeps, etc.
  • Minimize disturbance to hydrology, including soil disturbance from rutting.

Photos


Heart-leaved Foam-flower  [Photo #1175]

Photo © John Kohout.

Heart-leaved Foam-flower  [Photo #12237]

Photo by Thomas Meyer, WDNR.

Heart-leaved Foam-flower  [Photo #12238]

Photo by Thomas Meyer, WDNR.

Heart-leaved Foam-flower  [Photo #12331]

Photo © John Kohout.

Heart-leaved Foam-flower  [Photo #12332]

Heart-leaved foam-flower (WI Endangered) reaches the westernmost extremities of its range in rich mesic forests in a few northeastern Wisconsin counties.

Photo © John Kohout.


Support for Wisconsin's rare plant information has been provided by the Division of Forestry, the Endangered Resources Fund and the Wisconsin Rare Plant Preservation Fund. To donate, visit the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin [exit DNR].

Last revised: Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Southwest Savanna Southern Lake Michigan Coastal Western Coulees and Ridges Southeast Glacial Plains Central Sand Hills Central Lake Michigan Coastal Central Sand Plains Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northern Lake Michigan Coastal Northeast Sands Western Prairie North Central Forest Northern Highlands Northwest Lowlands Northwest Sands Northwest Lowlands Superior Coastal Plains Forest Transition