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Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)

Oconee Bells, Oconee-bells, Shortia

Shortia galacifolia, Oconee Bells, Oconee-bells, Shortia, Shade perennials, Shade Groundcover, Evergreen Ground Cover
Shortia galacifolia, Oconee Bells, Oconee-bells, Shortia, Shade perennials, Shade Groundcover, Evergreen Ground Cover

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 turn 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 occur 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 setting.

  • 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 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.

Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Diapensiaceae
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)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
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, Virginia, Tennessee
Tolerance Full Shade
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
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Recommended Companion Plants

Tsuga canadensis (Eastern Hemlock)
Liriodendron tulipifera (Tulip Tree)
Liquidambar styraciflua (Sweet Gum)
Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
Rhododendron maximum (Great Laurel)
Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)
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.
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Requirements

Hardiness 6 - 9
Heat Zones 6 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Diapensiaceae
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)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
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, Virginia, Tennessee
Tolerance Full Shade
Garden Uses Ground Covers, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Informal and Cottage, Prairie and Meadow
How Many Plants
Do I Need?

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