Uvularia is a genus of perennial rhizomatous plants similar to Polygonatum native to the southern United States. Species are woodland plants grown for their delicate bell shaped flowers. Uvularia is now considered to be in an expanded Colchicaceae family. In the past is has been considered by various taxonomists to be part of the Uvulariaceae family , the Convallariaceae family and the Melanthiaceae family. The name derives from the human uvula (commonly known as 'that thing which hangs down at the back of your throat') which means 'little grape'.

Uvularia grandiflora has yellow flowers and blooms spring to summer. It is found from Canada to the southeastern United States. Common names bellwort or merrybells. The first two photos are by John Lonsdale, remaining photos by David Pilling. Photo 5 compares var. pallida (right) with the usual variety, and photo 6 is of a flower of var. pallida.

Uvularia grandiflora, John LonsdaleUvularia grandiflora, John LonsdaleUvularia grandiflora, David PillingUvularia grandiflora, David PillingUvularia grandiflora left, with var. pallida right, David PillingUvularia grandiflora var. pallida, David Pilling

Photo 1 is of roots; 2-3 are of new seed pods; they may develop for a long time yet not contain any seed; photo 4 shows a ripe pod splitting and 5 shows the globose seeds are 6 mm diameter with elaiosomes to attract ants. Photo 6 shows a shoot for the next year appearing at the bottom of a stem in September, just before the leaves turn brown and the stems die back.

Uvularia grandiflora roots, David PillingUvularia grandiflora seed pod, David PillingUvularia grandiflora seed pod, David PillingUvularia grandiflora seed pod 21st August 2013, David PillingUvularia grandiflora seeds 25th August 2013, David PillingUvularia grandiflora shoot 19th September 2013, David Pilling

Photograph 1 is of the seeds collected in 2013 germinating in mid Summer 2014. Photograph 2 shows a resulting seedling in May 2015; its first year of growing leaves.

Uvularia grandiflora seeds 14th July 2014, David PillingUvularia grandiflora seedling 6th May 2015, David Pilling

Uvularia sessilifolia has white flowers and is found from Canada to central and eastern United States. Photo by John Lonsdale.

Uvularia sessilifolia, John Lonsdale

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Page last modified on May 08, 2015, at 01:29 PM