Click for previous Image Image 1 of 3 Disporum longistylum Fairy Bells

Disporum longistylum 'Night Heron'

Fairy Bells

Plant Type:


Disporum longistylum ‘Night Heron’ ex: Hinkley (form. D. cantoniense) – When the stems first arise from the soil in spring they support down-turned heads sheathed in still unfurled foliage looking remarkably like the purple-black silhouettes of a resting flock of elegant herons on this exceptional Fairy Bells. The leaves become glossy green infused with some purple during the summer. Stems may potentially grow to 6’ in the happiest of conditions, shorter elsewhere, branching at about the 2’ to 3’ mark. Pretty creamy yellow touched with green flowers are not large. But what they lack in size they make up for in number and contrast handsomely with the still purple foliage. Round purple-black berry-like fruits follow. Though listed as a USDA zone 6 plant it has been doing well for us on the east side of a short stone wall in much afternoon sun, only growing to about 3’ in northeastern Connecticut. Moderately spreading, colonizing. Established potted Fairy Bells vis division.


30-48 in




(5b sheltered)6 to 8
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Characteristics and Attributes for Disporum longistylum 'Night Heron'

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / into Autumn

Autumn Interest

  • Fruit / Berries / Seed Heads

Nature Attraction

  • Deer Resistant


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Mostly Sunny
  • Dappled Shade


  • Natural Garden
  • Border
  • Woodland

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Fertile
  • Draining
  • Moist


  • China

Propagated By

  • Division

Genus Overview: Disporum

The Fairy Bells are fantastic woodland denizens closely allied with Solomon Seal and Bellwort. Stems arise and often arch as with their relatives providing an elegant appearance which contrasts well with other shade loverss. Flowers, too, are often showy occurring at the terminal tips of stems as in Smilacina but each floret is more in the appearance of the bell-shaped flowers of Polygonatum (Solomon Seal) and Uvularia (Bellwort). They all prefer fertile soil high in organic matter in morning sun/afternoon shade, open shade or dappled light conditions. The following offerings are established pot-grown divisions from our plants.