Disporum flavum

Disporum flavum Perennial of the Month-- May 2006 

(di-SPOR-um  FLA-vum) (pronunciation at link, turn up volume if too low)

Common name: Fairy Bells, Yellow Mandarin

Family: Liliaceae, Lily

Height x width: 18-30" x 18-24"

Growth rate, habit:  slow to moderate spread by rhizomes, rapid spring growth of new stems; upright slightly arching similar to Solomon's Seal

Foliage: alternate, ovate to oblong -ovate, 2-3" long, slightly leathery, simple, may clasp stems, green in summer, golden in fall

Flowers: light yellow hanging flowers from the tops of stems, one inch long, tubular or long bell-shaped; spring bloom; produces black berries by fall

Hardiness: USDA zones 3-8

Soil: moist, organic, slightly acidic is best

Light: part shade to shade

Pests and problems: none significant

Landscape habit, uses: woodland, shaded borders; combines well with spring bulbs, Hadspen Cream brunnera, ferns, European ginger, barren strawberry, purple-leaved heuchera

Other interest: may be seen listed as D. flavens, D. uniflorum, or D. sessile var. flavens; native to China and Korea, so sometimes seen as Korean Fairy Bells; genus name is from dis for two and spora for seeds, referring to the paired seeds; related to wildflower native species; somewhat rarely seen yet underutilized and striking in spring gardens

Other culture: low maintenance, durable

Propagation: division in early spring prior to or during emergence; seeds, best sown when ripe

Sources: Plant Delights, Asiatica

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