Prosartes hookeri



The Basics

Taxonomy: Kingdom - Plantae (plants). Subkingdom - Tracheobionta (vascular plants). Superdivision - Spermatophyta (seed plants). Division - Magnoliophyta (Flowering plants). Class - Liliopsida. Order - Liliales. Family - Liliaceae (Lily family). Genus -Prosartes D. Don Species - Prosartes hookeri Torr. var. hookeri

Ecology: Fairy-bells (Prosartes hookeri)is found on both sides of the Cascades in Washington; British Columbia south to Oregon, east to Montana. In habitiat that is moist, shady, wooded areas, sea level to mid-elevations in the mountains.


General: Perennial herb from a strong but slender rhizome; stems erect, 30-100 cm tall, few-branched, spreading-curly-hairy at least above.

Leaves: Stem leaves alternate, several to many, egg-shaped to broadly lanceolate, 5-15 cm long, 2-6 cm wide, unstalked, heart-shaped and somewhat clasping at the base, short-hairy below and sparsely hairy to nearly smooth above, the margins fringed with forward-pointing hairs; basal leaves lacking.

Flowers: Inflorescence of 1 to 3 (usually 2), stalked flowers drooping from branch tips; flowers creamy-white, narrowly bell-shaped, of 6 similar distinct sepals, the tepals 10-15 (18) mm long, narrowly elliptic, flaring from the middle or lower; stamens 6, mostly slightly longer than the tepals; pistil 1, 3-chambered, styles usually hairy at least near the base.

Fruits: Berries, broadly egg-shaped, yellow to ultimately red, 7-10 mm long, smooth or minutely hairy; seeds 4 to 6.


The main threat for Prosartes hookeri is loss of protective snow pack in the winter and a shorter growing season. Prosartes hookeri also relies on shady canopies that may change with the growth of other species.


Prosartes hookeri is a monocot and the perennial herb flowers from early spring to mid summer. Right after germination the first aerial stems appear. In the first year the roots grow 10 cm in length. Prostatyes hookeri also sprouts from rhizomes. These rhizomes can produce 5 roots yearly.

Species Distribution


E-Flora of British Columbia
In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2015. E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Plants of British Columbia []. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 08/02/2017 10:45:16 AM ]

USDA Plants Database
USDA, NRCS. 2017. The PLANTS Database. National Plant Data Team, Greensboro, NC 27401-4901 USA.
Distribution Map photo credit

Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals, including the Consortium of California Herbaria. [web application]. 2017. Berkeley, California: The Calflora Database [a non-profit organization].

Flora of North America
Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 19+ vols. New York and Oxford.

Conservation Assessment for Fairy Bells
USDA Forest Service, E. R. (2000, September). Conservation Assessment for Fairy Bells (Disporum hookeri). Retrieved from

Botanical Gazette
Torr, P. H. (1902). or two in young, four to six in full-grown specimens. Their. Botanical Gazette, 33, 401.

Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture
Burke Museum. 2017. Prosartes hookeri [Online]. University of Washington.
Photo credit: 2004, Ben Legler