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Uvularia grandiflora

Uvularia grandiflora

Uvularia grandiflora

This plant differs from Uvularia sessilifolia in that the leaves of the latter grow from the stem and its flowers are smaller. U. grandiflora also differs from Uvularia perfoliata, which occurs in eastern North America. The latter has similar large perfoliate leaves, but the flowers have orange-colored bumps on the petals.

Uvularia

The native range of Uvularia grandiflora extends from the Appalachians west to the Dakotas, Kansas and Oklahoma, from Louisiana and Georgia in the South to Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec in Canada. So, it is widespread across the eastern mountains, the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley. There are also isolated populations along Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.Bellwort is an excellent early-blooming native shade plant for the woodland garden, shaded border front, wildflower garden or naturalized area. It spreads slowly by rhizomes so you can achieve a mass planting look under shade trees or along wood margins in a relatively short amount of time. The Bellwort flowers and leaves have an overall droopy appearance when in bloom. However, after seeds are set, the leaves of Uvularia take on a different look, somewhat like a needle threading the stem through the leaves.

The flowers are rather shy and often hide behind the leaves. The foliage of Large-Flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora) is attractive and resembles the foliage of Polygonatum commutatum (Smooth Solomon's Seal). However, the leaves of the latter species are sessile or clasping, while the leaves of Large-Flowered Bellwort are perfoliate. The only other species in this genus that occurs in Illinois (the southern part only) is Uvularia sessilifolia (Sessile-Leaved Bellwort). As the name suggests, the leaves of this species are sessile, rather than perfoliate, and its flowers are a little smaller than those of Large-Flowered Bellwort. The 3-celled seed capsules of this species are sharply lobed (even winged), while the corresponding lobes of Large-Flowered Bellwort are well-rounded. Another species in this genus, Uvularia perfoliata (Perfoliate Bellwort), occurs in areas to the east of Illinois. This species has perfoliate leaves like Large-Flowered Bellwort. However, its seed capsules are truncated at their tips and its tepals have glandular hairs on the interior surface. Large-Flowered Bellwort has seed capsules with rounded tips and its tepals are smooth on the interior surface. (Source: www.illinoiswildflowers.info)

 

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