Alphabetical Plant Listing

Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)

Oconee Bells, Oconee-bells, Shortia


Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells) is an evergreen perennial that spreads by short runners to form a dense carpet of round shiny leaves with wavy margins and striking venation. Held on long petioles, the attractive leaves turn shades of red and pink in the sun. They warm up to bronze in winter. In early to mid spring, pinkish white flowers, 1 in. across (2.5 cm), adorned with 5 frilled petals are carried on erect stalks above the basal foliage. Native to the Appalachian mountains, Oconee Bells occurs naturally along rivers and in gorges where the land is sloping and shows evidence of natural or man-made disturbance. Difficult to establish and slow to spread, this attractive southern wildflower is an excellent ground cover for shady areas. It is a must for any woodland settings.

  • Grows up to 4-6 in. tall and wide (10-15 cm).
  • Performs best in part shade to full shade in organically rich, acidicmedium moisture, well-drained soils. Do not to let the soil dry out in the warm summer months. Provide a light layer of fine mulch in the spring that will keep the roots protected and add nutrients to the soil.
  • Perfect for woodland gardens, as a groundcover or underplanting shrubs.
  • A low-maintenance and forgiving perennial.
  • No serious pest or disease issues.
  • Propagate by root division.
  • Native to the southern Appalachian Mountains, concentrated in the tri-state border region of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina.

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Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spread 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spacing 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Cvandyke, Bad Birch, Shutterstock

While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 6 – 9
Heat Zones 6 – 9
Plant Type Perennials
Exposure Partial Sun, Shade
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid,Late)
Summer (Early,Mid,Late)
Fall
Winter
Height 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spread 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Spacing 4" – 6" (10cm – 15cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Low
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Evergreen
Native Plants United States, Southeast, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses and Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow

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Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)

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