Shortia galacifolia Torr. & A. Gray
Oconee-bells, Oconee Bells
Although native to North America, you aren’t likely to find these outside a garden, since they are extremely rare. After identification in 1788, nearly a century elapsed before it was spotted again.
Identification: Technically, this evergreen plant qualifies as a tiny shrub, though, at a height of about 6" (15 cm), most would classify it as a herbaceous plant. Leaves are round, ¾-2½" (1.9-6.3 cm), with long stems and gently scalloped edges, very glossy. Flowers about ¼" (6.3 mm) in diameter appear atop short stems. They are white or pinkish, with delicate frilled edges like pinks and five petals.
Shortia galacifolia on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook
Shortia galacifolia on www.huh.harvard.edu
Shortia galacifolia on Discover Life
Shortia galacifolia at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
Shortia galacifolia on www.pvcnargs.org
Shortia galacifolia on Erv Evans' site at the North Carolina State University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Shortia galacifolia at Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum (PDF)
Shortia galacifolia on eFloras
Shortia galacifolia description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.