Sugar-scoops

Today’s walk through the coast redwood forest floor brings us to the adorable little sugar-scoop, also called lace foamflowers, botanical name Tiarella trifoliata. (Tiarella means “little tiara”.)

There are several varieties that can be found along the Pacific Coast from Santa Cruz up to Alaska, and inland as far as Alberta and Montana.

Our sugar-scoops are var. unifoliata. Rather than the more common three part leaves found in var. trifoliata, ours have a single-part, lobed, toothed leaf that looks kind of like a small maple leaf.

Sugar-scoops are a perennial herb that like moist shady stream banks and that’s where we find most of ours. They flower along a tall (one foot or so) stalk, primarily in June and July but occasionally starting as early as May and as late as September. The white flowers are bell shaped with five petals.

The name sugar-scoop comes from the shape of their seed pods which resemble tiny sugar scoops.

[Photo credits: me, Deanna L Pierce, Don Loarie via iNaturalist]

flowering sugar-scoop

sugar-scoop flower clusters along its stalk

close up of sugar-scoop flower