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

Prosartes trachycarpa S. Watson
rough-fruited fairybells (roughfruit fairybells)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Bryan Kelly-McArthur  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #66135)

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Distribution of Prosartes trachycarpa
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a strong but slender rhizome; stems erect, 30-70 cm tall, few-branched, spreading curly-hairy.
Stem leaves alternate, several to many, broadly to narrowly egg-shaped, 3-10 cm long, unstalked, somewhat heart-shaped to rounded and somewhat clasping at the base, often spreading-hairy below, smooth above, the margins fringed with spreading hairs; basal leaves lacking.
Inflorescence of 1 or 2, stalked flowers drooping from branch tips, the stalks sturdy and hairy; flowers creamy-white, narrowly bell-shaped, of 6 similar, distinct tepals, the tepals 8-15 mm long, lance-oblong, flaring from the middle or lower; stamens 6, equalling or slightly longer than the tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered; styles smooth.
Berries, squat-globe-shaped but somewhat 3-lobed, at first green, becoming orange to red, 7-10 mm long, the surface velvety and distinctly warty-roughened; seeds 6 to 12.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to dry forests, forest edges, thickets and clearings in the steppe and montane zones; common in BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains and S of 56degreeN; E to MB and S to SD, NM, AZ and OR.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Prosartes trachycarpa

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) 6 939 1890
Slope Gradient (%) 0 30 220
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
0 245 360
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: BG(13), BWBS(103), CWH(24), ESSF(35), ICH(296), IDF(492), MS(134), PP(29), SBPS(12), SBS(260)


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 semiarid.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Disporum trachycarpum (S. Watson) Benth. & Hook. f.
Disporum trachycarpum var. subglabrum E.H. Kelso

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References