Northern Ontario Plant Database
Uvularia grandiflora Sm.
En: largeflower bellwort, yellow bellwort, merry bells
Colchicaceae (Autumn crocus Family)
General: A perennial forb, 2–7.5 dm tall when flowering, to 1 m tall in fruit, growing from a short rhizome. The erect stem branched towards the top.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, parallel-veined, with 0–2 leaves below the fork in the stem and 4 or more leaves on each branch. Leaf blades lanceolate to oblong, 5-13 cm long; upper surface smooth (glabrous), lower surface slightly hairy, with fine white hairs; leaf bases fused around the stem (perfoliate); apex pointed (acute); margins entire.
Flowers: Bisexual (perfect), yellow to yellow-orange, solitary, terminal, drooping. Sepals and petals alike (tepals), 6, narrowly oblong, pointed to sharply pointed at the tip (acute to acuminate), slightly twisted, smooth on the inner surface, 2.5–5 cm long; stamens 6, longer than the style; pistil 1, with a superior ovary.
Fruit: A dry, obovoid capsule, 1–2 cm long.
Habitat and Range: Moist deciduous forests, usually over limestone (calcareous) substrates. Uvularia grandiflora is native to eastern North America; it occurs in southern Ontario, but is not known from northern Ontario.
Internet Images: See the Uvularia grandiflora webpage from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.
Similar Species: The perfoliate bellwort, Uvularia perfoliata, is very similar to Uvularia grandiflora, but the slightly smaller perfoliate bellwort prefers acidic to neutral soils, the lower leaf surfaces are smooth (glabrous) and glaucous, and the inner surface of its tepals is roughened with small orange glandular bumps; it is considered rare in Ontario. The sessileleaf bellwort, Uvularia sessilifolia, which can be distinguished by its sessile, glaucous leaves, is found in southern and eastern Ontario.
Compare Uvularia grandiflora to the Uvularia perfoliata and Uvularia sessilifolia webpages from the Gallery of Connecticut Wildflowers, a website of the Connecticut Botanical Society.
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