Disporum hookeri, Prosartes hookeri
Hooker's Fairybells is a gorgeous shade-loving perennial that is both delicate and strong in a woodland garden. In spring, its delicate white flowers generally bloom in pairs from branch tips, the petals flaring outward to reveal dangling yellow anthers. The graceful branching pattern of its stems and leathery leaves are quite architectural, and hold their artful form even in the peak of the summer drought. As the growing season wraps up, the flowers mature into shiny orange fruits, a color as noteworthy as it is uncommon in any native garden.
- Plant type/canopy layer: deciduous perennial herbaceous plant/ground layer
- Size at maturity: 1-3' tall, 1-2' wide
- Light requirements: full shade, part sun / part shade
- Moisture requirements: moist soil
- Bloom Time: April - July
- Growth rate/ease: fast growth rate, easy to grow
- Wildlife support: attracts bees and other insect pollinators, supports hummingbirds
- Native habitat/range: Common in shady damp thickets, montane conifer and mixed-evergreen forests, and exposed roadsides up to 2300 meters across most of western OR, north into British Columbia, south to CA and east to MT and MI. Portland Plant List - yes.
- Special features & uses: attracts and supports hummingbirds
Gardening with Hooker’s Fairybells: This cheerful, drought-tolerant wildflower is ideal for shady woodland gardens. It requires high organic matter so be sure to integrate compost initially, as needed, and to leave the fall leaves where they fall each year. It’s form stands taller than most groundcovers with a strong, robust look to its stems and leaves, so it works well interplanted in the middle of beds where it can strike a pose above ground covers like native violets, candy flower, and wild ginger.
Photo Credit 1: Nikkie West, Sparrowhawk Native Plants
Photo Credit 2: "File:Prosartes-hookeri-flowers.JPG" by Sten Porse is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0
Photo Credit 3: "drops-of-gold Prosartes hookeri" by loarie is licensed under CC BY 2.0