Large-flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora)
This 1-1.5 foot tall plant, with its large, drooping bell-shaped, pale yellow flower, is usually found in small clusters of individual stems, which spring from a common rhizome. The narrow leaves are up to six inches long and also droop, often hiding the flower. The foliage is usually a paler green than surrounding spring plants of other species.
This plant prefers rich, moist woodlands, including steep hillsides. The flowering period usually lasts about two weeks. Like most spring ephemerals, the bellwort sends up shoots and flowers before the overhead trees leaf out.
The seed contains a fleshy elaiosome, which is rich in proteins and fats. The elaiosome attracts an ant, which carries the seed away from the parent plant, eats the elaiosome, and discards the seed. If the seed falls in a favorable location it will sprout.
Want to Help Us Better Understand the Park?
See our iNaturalist project, "The Life of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area" and contribute to it by downloading the iNaturalist app and uploading your sightings of this species, and others, to the project. You can also upload your sightings from your computer.
Last updated: March 7, 2018