Tellima grandiflora

Fringe cups

CODE: 08F-0001
ZONE: 4a
PRICE: $7.00
POT SIZE: 4.5"sq x 5.0", 1004 ml

I like to think of fringe cups as a native coral bell for wet shade. It's not really a coral bell, but it does its very best to look like one.

Like most coral bells, the leaves are rounded and slightly scalloped, forming a clump at the base of the flowers. They're usually dark green, but they can pick up hints of purple and are semi-evergreen in warmer climates.

The flowers are what really make me think of a coral bell, though. Tall, wiry stems up to two feet high rise out of the leaves, each topped with a raceme (botanist-talk for a bunch of flowers) of greenish-white, bell-shaped flowers with five reflexed petals. The petals are, of course, fringed -- thus leading to the common name. Long-lasting, the flowers will eventually mature to pink.

It performs best in moist soils in part shade, but mine have performed quite well in wet deep shade where little else has grown. Unfortunately, this placement also means that it's been nearly impossible for me to photograph my plants.

It will form small colonies if the growing conditions are right, but it doesn't like hot, humid climates. I suspect that anything hotter than zone 7a would be too much for it.

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