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Plant Details

Shortia galacifolia

Shortia, Oconee Bells

Scientific Name:

Shortia galacifolia

Genus:

Shortia

Species Epithet:

galacifolia

Common Name:

Shortia, Oconee Bells

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Life Cycle

Perennial

Plant Family

Diapensiaceae (Diapensia Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Size:

0-1 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White

Light:

Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist

Bloom Time:

March, April, July, August

Growing Area:

Mountains

Habitat Description:

S. galacifolia var. brevistyla: On moist slopes, creekbanks, and rock outcrops in humid escarpment gorges with high rainfall, generally in deep shade under Rhododendron maximum, at elevations of 350-550m. Rare in NC Mountains.
S. galacifolia var. galacifolia: On moist slopes, creekbanks, and rock outcrops in humid escarpment gorges with high rainfall, generally in deep shade under Rhododendron maximum and R. minus, at elevations (in NC) of 350-650m. Rare in NC Mountains, waif in NC Piedmont (probably persistent after cultivation).

Leaf Arrangement:

Basal

Leaf Retention:

Evergreen

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Life Cycle:

Perennial

Wildlife Value:

Has some wildlife value

Landscape Value:

Suitable for home landscapes

State Rank:

S2: Imperiled (*Key)

Global Rank:

G_T_: Subspecies or Variety Rank (add status to NOTES section) (*Key)

State Status:

E: Endangered, SC-V: Special Concern: Vulnerable, Exploited, Endemic (*Key)

Notes:

USDA only has recorded occurrences in McDowell and Transylvania Counties in NC.
NC Natural Heritage Program Global Rank for Northern Oconee Bells, S. galacifolia var. brevistyla: G3T2; NC Rank S2; NC Status Endangered, Exploited, Endemic. Known only in McDowell Co., NC.
NC Natural Heritage Program Global Rank for S. galacifolia var. galacifolia: G2G3T2T3; NC Status SC-V, NC Rank S2, Exploited, Global Rank G3T2T3. Found in Transylvania and Jackson counties, NC, Oconee and Pickens counties, SC, and Rabun County, GA, where it occurs in the remarkable escarpment gorges region, at elevations from 200-650m (formerly at lower elevations, now submerged under Lake Jocassee). Most of the population of this species, including the type locality, was destroyed in the early 1960's by the construction of Lake Jocassee (Zahner & Jones 1983). (Weakley 2015).

Blossom

A good picture of this lovely complex bloom!

image

© Jean Woods

Bank of Plants

image

outside Brevard, April 2002

Clump of Plants

image

Black Mountain
© MB Baumeister

Seed Capsules

image

Foliage and Seed Capsule

See the new growth's reddish tint. The similarity to galax foliage is plain.

image

Black Mountain
© MB Baumeister

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record

Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Flora of North America


Bird-Friendly Native Plants



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