E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Clintonia uniflora (Menzies ex Schult. & Schult. f.) Kunth
queen's cup (blue-bead clintonia; bride's bonnet)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ed McMackin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #88777)

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Distribution of Clintonia uniflora
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a slender rhizome; flowering stems 4-15 (20) cm tall, hairy.
Basal leaves 2 or 3, oblanceolate to oblong or elliptic, 10-25 cm long, 3-7 cm wide, sheathing at the base, shiny and slightly fleshy, variably long-soft-hairy beneath, the margins entire, hairy; stem leaves lacking, bracts 1 or 2.
Inflorescence of solitary or rarely 2, erect flowers atop a leafless, 1- to 2-bracted, hairy stalk; flowers white, hairy, bell-shaped, about 2 cm long, of 6 similar, distinct tepals; stamens 6, the filaments loosely woolly-hairy; pistil 1, 2- or 3-chambered.
Berries, globe- to egg-shaped, metallic blue, 6-12 mm long; seeds 10 to 15, black.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic forests and glades from the lowland to lower subalpine zones; common in BC south of 56degreeN; N to S AK, E to SW AB and S to MT, ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Clintonia uniflora

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 0 1011 2500
Slope Gradient (%) 0 23 410
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 209 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 3 8
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BAFA(1), BWBS(5), CWH(1047), ESSF(1839), ICH(4034), IDF(242), MH(120), MS(421), SBPS(37), SBS(1604), SWB(1)

Ecological Indicator Information

A very shade-tolerant, montane to subalpine, Western North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in boreal and cool temperate climates on moderately dry to fresh, nitrogen-poor soils. Common in the shaded understory of coniferous forests on water-shedding and water-receiving sites. Typically associated with Hylocomium splendens, Pleurozium schreberi, ptilium crista-castrensis, Rhytidiopsis robusta, Rubus pedatus, and Vaccinium membranaceum. An oxylophytic species characteristic of Mor humus forms.

SourceIndicator Plants of Coastal British Columbia (Information applies to coastal locations only)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is montane boreal & cool temperate.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Smilacina borealis var. uniflora Menzies ex Schult. & Schult. f.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References