Hello, Recently I have seen large fields of white flowering plants in the Kings Valley area. I was told these are foamflower. Can someone please tell me: * The scientific name and classification of this plant? * Where the plant is native to? * The reason it is being grown in such large tracts here in the Willamette Valley? * Any interesting web sites that discuss this plant (or these plants, if there is more than one species being grown here)? Thank you in advance for your response to this request. David Goldstein
Benton County Oregon
To be honest, I have never heard of the production of foamflower. At first I thought you must mean meadowfoam, which is a seed crop grown in the Willamette Valley with bright white flowers. However, meadowfoam typically flowers in late May/early June, and is not typically grown in the Kings Valley area.
Searching foamflower on the internet, it looks like it is a shade-loving perennial native to Eastern North America. Scientific name is Tiarella cordifolia. Here are some trustworthy websites:
If you happen to see a farmer out in one of the fields, I would feel free to stop and ask them about the plant. Farmers are usually very happy to speak with someone about their crops.
You may also want to check in with someone in the nursery business, as it seems to be a nursery crop. If it appears they are growing the crop for seed, try contacting one of the local seed companies to ask about foamflower seed production.
Best of luck with your inquiry,