The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence and upper leaves of Hooker's fairy bells as seen on the trail from Angel's Rest to Devils Rest in the Columbia River Gorge..........May 12, 2005. Note the tips of the tepals which flare outwards in this species.
Fairy bells is a lovely perennial wildflower with several to many erect to ascending stems rising 30-60 cm high. The stems are slender, not much-branched, and somewhat pubescent above. The narrowly ovate to oblong-ovate leaves taper gradually to a point and are found entirely on the stems. They are strongly to obliquely cordate at the base and have wavy margins. Individual leaves have parallel venation and measure from 5-15 cm long.
The inflorescence is a cluster of 2-5 pendant flowers at the tips of the stems. The individual flowers are white and bell-shaped, the 6 tepals elliptic in shape with narrow bases and measuring from 9-18 mm long. The stamens are about as long as or longer than the tepals. The fruit is a red berry measuring from 7-9 mm long and ellipsoid-obovoid in shape with one slightly pointed end.
Fairy bells are similar in appearance to fairy lanterns, but the tips of the tepals of the latter plant do not flare outwards to give a bell shape. Instead they hang straight down.
Fairy bells are excellent plants for use in the shade garden. They are best used at mid-depth in a shaded flower bed or as a medium height plant lining a path through the woods. They will also set seed fairly easily to spread, but are not as invasive as many non-native plants.
Fairy bells are found in moist shaded woods. They can tolerate fairly deep shade.
Fairy bells may be found from British Columbia south along both sides of the Cascade Mts. to northwestern Oregon and east in B.C. and northern Washington to west-central and northern Idaho and western Montana.
In the Columbia River Gorge it may be found between the elevations of 100'-4000' from Troutdale, OR east towards Mosier, OR.
-Hooker's fairy bells as seen at McCord Creek Falls...........April 20, 2006.
Hooker's fairy bells as seen along the loop trail around the lower and upper Latourell Falls, Glen Talbot State Park, Columbia River Gorge...........April 11, 2014.