Coral bells are one of the most charming flowering perennials for residential gardens within the Inland Empire. A number of cultivars are now available from many nurseries; some are derived from native California species. Coral bells are recognized by their rounded leaves, delicate flowers and tidy mounding habit. They produce numerous slender spikes containing colorful bell-shaped flowers in the spring.
Coral bells are highly attractive when featured in small garden spaces and containers, or when planted in large masses and drifts in the understory of trees. Their best garden value is achieved when planted in partial shade, in well-drained soils with regular water. Flowering cycles vary according to species and cultivar; ranging from spring to summer and fall. Leaves can burn when planted in full sun in hot locations. Popular cultivars include H. ‘Wendy’ is a robust selection that mounds 10-12 in. high with pink flowers, H. ‘Santa Ana Cardinal’, growing 10-12 in. high with cardinal red flowers, H. ‘Canyon Chimes’ is a tiny cultivar growing 4-6″ high with small leaves and petite pink flowers, and H. ‘Suzana’ produces coral-red flowers and mounds 8-12″ high.