This section is from the book "An Illustrated Flora Of The Northern United States, Canada And The British Possessions Vol2", by Nathaniel Lord Britton, Addison Brown. Also available from Amazon: An Illustrated Flora of the Northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 Volume Set..
Perennial slender erect herbs, with the leaves mainly basal, long-petioled, lobed or 3-foliolate, small stipules adnate to the petiole, and white pedicelled racemose or paniculate flowers. Calyx-tube campanulate, nearly or quite free from the base of the ovary, its limb 5-lobed. Petals 5, clawed. Stamens 10; filaments elongated. Ovary 1-celled; styles 2; ovules 00. Capsule membranous, 1-celled, 2-valved, the valves usually unequal. Seeds usually few, ovoid or globose, smooth, not winged. [Diminutive of tiara, from the form of capsule.]
About 6 species, natives of North America, Japan and the Himalayas. Besides the following, and one in the southern Alleghanies, 5 others occur in the western parts of North America. Type species: Tiarella cordi-folia L.
Tiarella cordifolia L. Sp. Pl. 405. 1753.
Scape 6'-12' high, slender, pubescent. Leaves long-petioled, broadly ovate, or nearly orbicular, cordate at the base, 3-7-lobed, obtuse or acutish at the apex, 2'~4' long, crenate or dentate all around, pubescent with scattered hairs above, glabrate or downy along the veins beneath; inflorescence simply racemose or the lowest pedicels sometimes branched, glandular-puberulent; flowers white, about 3" broad; petals oblong, entire or slightly dentate, clawed, somewhat exceeding the white calyx-lobes; capsule reflexed, about 3" long, its valves very unequal.
In rich moist woods, Nova Scotia to Ontario and Minnesota, south, especially along the mountains, to Georgia, Indiana and Michigan. Ascends to 5600 ft. in Virginia. White coolwort. Foam-flower. Gem-fruit. April-May.