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Since 1988, THE source for buying native, rare, and unique perennials.
Shortia galacifolia
Joe Townsend

Shortia galacifolia

Oconee Bells

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Item #: 3669

Zones: 5a to 7b, at least

Height: 6" tall

Culture: Light Shade

Origin: United States

Pot Size: 2.5" pot (7.9 fl. oz/233 ml) ?


Note: This plant is not currently for sale. This is an archive page preserved for informational use.

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Shortia galacifolia is a plant of great mystery, first discovered in 1788 by French botanist, Andre Michaux, in North Carolina. Although other botanists tried to locate it, they were unsuccessful until 1877 when it was rediscovered by George Hyams. Shortia was subsequently named by famed American botanist Asa Gray after his friend, Dr. Charles Short of Kentucky. Shortia is a member of the tiny Diapensiaceae family, which includes other rarities such as galax and pixie moss. Shortia is not easy to cultivate and should only be attempted by experienced gardeners. Well-drained, humus-rich, but high rainfall cliffs in western NC and SC are home to Shortia galacifolia. In spring, the slowly spreading evergreen clumps of galax-like foliage are topped with short spikes of small, dangling, whitish-pink bells. Our plants are seed grown by our friend, Joe Townsend...a horrendously slow process.