Plant Guide

Disporum flavum

Pronunciation: di-SPOR-um FLA-vum
Family: Liliaceae, Lily
Common Name: Fairy Bells, Yellow Mandarin
Plant Type:
  • perennial

Height to: 30"
Width to: 24"
USDA Hardiness Zones:
  • -30 to -40ºF ZONE 3
  • -20 to -30ºF ZONE 4
  • -10 to -20ºF ZONE 5
  • 0 to -10ºF ZONE 6
  • 10 to 0ºF ZONE 7
  • 20 to 10ºF ZONE 8


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

Source: Perry's Perennials; University Vermont

USDA Heat Zones (days above 86ºF):
  • Less then 1 day ZONE 1
  • 1 to 7 days ZONE 2
  • 7 to 14 days ZONE 3
  • 14 to 30 days ZONE 4
  • 30 to 45 days ZONE 5
  • 45 to 60 days ZONE 6
  • 60 to 90 days ZONE 7
  • 90 to 120 days ZONE 8
  • 120 to 150 days ZONE 9

Submitted by: Pectiwiccan
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