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

Tellima grandiflora (Pursh) Douglas ex Lindl.
fringecup (bigflower tellima)
Saxifragaceae (Saxifrage family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Rod Innes  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #6742)

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Distribution of Tellima grandiflora
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from scaly rhizomes; flowering stems 40-80 cm tall, with a few leaves, strongly long-hairy below, becoming more glandular-hairy above.
Basal leaves heart- to kidney-shaped, 3-8 cm wide, about as long, shallowly 5- to 7-lobed, irregularly toothed, the stalks 5-20 cm long, strongly long-hairy; stipules about 5 mm long, membranous, fringed to toothed; stem leaves similar to the basal, 1 to 3, reduced.
Inflorescence a many-flowered, spike-like, terminal cluster, generally 1-sided, with scale-like bracts; flower stalks 2-5 mm long; petals greenish-white to rose, 3-7 mm long, pinnately divided at tip into 5 or 7 linear segments, short-clawed, deciduous; calyces greenish, 6-8 mm long, to 11 mm in fruit, joined partly to ovary, hypanthium tubular bell-shaped, longer than joined portion, the lobes triangular-egg-shaped, 2-3 mm long, erect; stamens 10.
Capsules, about 4 mm long; seeds brown, 0.8-1 mm long, wrinkled-warty in lengthwise rows.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist forests, streambanks and thickets in the lowland and montane zones; common in W and E BC south of 57degreeN, mostly absent from central BC north of 51degreeN; N to the Aleutian Islands and S AK, E to AB and S to MT, N ID and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Tellima grandiflora

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) 1 319 1895
Slope Gradient (%) 0 11 85
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 15 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 5 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: CDF(57), CMA(2), CWH(263), ESSF(31), ICH(30), IDF(2), MH(9), MS(6), SBS(19)

Ecological Indicator Information

A shade-tolerant/intolerant, submontane to montane, Western North American forb distributed more in the Pacific than the Cordilleran region. Occurs in cool temperate and cool mesothermal climates on fresh to very moist, nitrogen­rich soils; its occurrence decreases with increasing continentality and elevation. Frequent on water-receiving sites and sporadic on water-shed­ding sites; most common in broad-leaved forests on floodplains where it associates with Acer macrophyllum, Athyrium filix-femina, Polystichum munitum, Sambucus racemosa, Tiarella trifoliata, and Tolmiea menziesii. A nitrophytic species characteristic of Moder and Mull 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 cool temperate & cool mesothermal.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Tellima odorata Howell

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References