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Shortia galacifolia

Shortia galacifolia Torr. & A. Gray


Oconee Bells

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderDiapensialesA small group that includes oconee bells and a few others
FamilyDiapensiaceaeA small group that includes oconee bells and a few others
GenusShortiaFor 19th-century Kentucky botanist, Dr. Charles Wilkins Short
SpeciesgalacifoliaNamed for its resemblence to beetleweed or galax (Galax urceolata)

About plant names...

Although native to North America, you aren’t likely to find these outside a garden, since they are extremely rare. After identification in 1788, nearly a century elapsed before it was spotted again.

Identification: Technically, this evergreen plant qualifies as a tiny shrub, though, at a height of about 6" (15 cm), most would classify it as a herbaceous plant. Leaves are round, ¾-2½" (1.9-6.3 cm), with long stems and gently scalloped edges, very glossy. Flowers about ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter appear atop short stems. They are white or pinkish, with delicate frilled edges like pinks and five petals.

Online References:

Shortia galacifolia on www.carolinanature.com

Shortia galacifolia on huh.harvard.edu

Shortia galacifolia on Discover Life

Shortia galacifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Shortia galacifolia on www.pvcnargs.org

Shortia galacifolia on plants.ces.ncsu.edu

Shortia galacifolia at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (PDF)

Shortia galacifolia on eFloras

Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)

5/22/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 15 × 10" (39 × 26 cm)

Shortia galacifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 2 Jan 2019.

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Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)


Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)


Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 12 × 8" (31 × 20 cm)

Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bells)

1/16/2019 · By Jacquelyn Boyt


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