Tellima grandiflora - Fringecup

Tellima grandiflora

Family: Saxifragaceae

Common names: Fringecup, bigflower tellima, fragrant fringecup

General bloom time: April – July

Identification: Perennial herbaceous plant.  Flowering stalks are curved at the base, up to 80 cm tall, and covered with stiff, short, blunt hairs.

Leaves: Leaves at the base of the plant have long, hairy stalks.  The blades are heart or somewhat kidney shaped, and 5 to 8 cm wide.  There are 5 to 7 shallow lobes and edges are irregularly toothed.  There is typically 1 to 3 much smaller leaves on the stem.

Flowers: Flowers are loosely clustered on a stalk, with 10 to 35 flowers per stalk.  There are five greenish to white frilly petals per flower.  Flowers are very fragrant.

Fruit: Capsules are about 10 mm long, with small, brown, wrinkly, warty seeds.

Habitat: Often on stream banks, glades, ditches, meadows, or damp woods, also in thickets or clearings up to mid elevations in the mountains; does not do well in direct sun or drought.

Ecology: Plant supports birds and beneficial insects.

Fun Facts:

-       Woodland elves were thought to eat fringecup to improve night vision!

-       The Skagit drank it as teas for many ailments including loss of appetite

 

References:

Oregon State University. 2010. Oregon Flora Project Atlas. www.oregonflora.org/atlas.php

Pojar, J. & A. MacKinnon. 1994. Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia & Alaska. Vancouver B.C., Lone Pine Publishing.

2006. Tellima grandiflora. Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture. University of Washington. http://biology.burke.washington.edu/herbarium/imagecollection.php

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