Bellwort - Uvularia grandiflora
Bell wort is easy to spot during a walk in the woods. Starting in mid-March, the plant can be identified by it dark green oval leaves that grow in pairs. The leaves are marked by perforated veins downs the length of the leaf stretching out from the main vein down the middle of the leaf. The flower grows in clumps with multiple stems.
The flower starts to blooms in late April with the appearance of several small, dropping, dark, yellow flowers. The blossom is made up of 6 narrow twisted petals that give the flower its distinctive look. The flower develops an edible seed pod that looks like an inverted pyramid sectioned into three cells containing several seeds.
This wildflower can be obtained at many nurseries and grows well in the shade in all temperate climates. Dig up an existing plant in late February, or early March and separate the roots for replanting. The plant will naturally spread itself.
Bellwort is part of the Colchicaceae family and it is native to North America. It typically grows around shaded slopes, river banks and deciduous woodlands. It is best in the spring and a lot of shade during the summer, it is generally disease and pest free with no serious problems whatsoever although deers heavily graze on it so watch out for them. It will most likely attract bees with its showy yellow flowers and fragrance. It is best planted under a tree that does not give too much sunlight, even though it prefers to be in the shade, dense shade is not very good for the plant.
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