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

Prosartes smithii (Hook.) Utech, Shinwari & Kawano
Smith's fairybells (largeflower fairybells)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Jamie Fenneman  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #29427)

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Distribution of Prosartes smithii
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a strong but slender rhizome; stems erect, 30-90 cm tall, branched, spreading-curly-hairy to nearly smooth.
Stem leaves alternate, several to many, broadly to narrowly egg-shaped, 4-12 cm long, unstalked, rounded to somewhat heart-shaped and somewhat clasping at the base, sparsely hairy below and smooth above, the margins mostly not fringed with hairs; basal leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of 1 to 3 (6), stalked flowers in clusters drooping from branch tips, the stalks sturdy and hairy; flowers whitish, cylindric, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 15-28 mm long, lance-oblong, flaring slightly at the tips; stamens 6, shorter than the tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered, the style hairy throughout.
Berries, broadly ellipsoid, orange to red, 12-15 mm long, smooth; seeds 5 to 9.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests and streambanks in the lowland zone; rare on S Vancouver Island; S to CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Prosartes smithii

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) 80 214 350
Slope Gradient (%) 0 17 34
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
210 261 310
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
1 3 5
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: CWH(7)


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 cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Disporum smithii (Hook.) Piper
Prosartes menziesii D. Don
Uvularia smithii Hook.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References