BELLWORT Uvularia grandiflora

BELLWORT Uvularia grandiflora

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Uvularia grandiflora, the large-flowered bellwort or merrybells, is native to eastern and central North America. Growing to 75 cm (30 in) tall by 30 cm (12 in) broad, it is a rhizomatous herbaceous perennial with pendent leaves which are hairy on the undersides. It blooms in mid- to late spring, producing large yellow, solitary or paired, bell-shaped, pendent flowers. The top parts of the plant tend to bend downward due to the weight of the leaves and flowers. The Latin specific epithet grandiflora means "large flowered".

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.

Uvularia grandiflora is a woodland species found in open in rich moist woods with calcareous to neutral soils.

Bumblebees, mason bees, halictid bees, and andrenid bees feed from the nectar and collect pollen from the flowers. Deer love to eat these plants.

The plant is listed as endangered in New Hampshire and Connecticut.

In cultivation in the UK Uvularia grandiflora has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.

Height: 12"-18", 30-45 cm

Location: Sun or part

Type: Hardy perennial

Hardiness zones: 3-8

Seeds per pack: 5

Germination: Seeds should be planted outdoors in summer, so that they will benefit from the warmth, followed by the cool and fluctuating temperatures of winter. In spring they will sprout, so be sure to mark the location that you planted the seeds. Please note, these seeds cannot grow without this warm/cold period, so patience is required, though they are well worth the wait!

If you would prefer to start your seeds indoors, they will require a pattern of warm and cold periods. Once you receive your seeds, plant them in a pot, just under the surface of the soil. Water, and place at room temperature for about 6-8 weeks. The seeds will not grow yet. Then, place the container in a clear plastic bag, and label the seeds. Place the pot in a refrigerator for 3 months. Then, bring the pot back to warmth (room temperature). The seeds should germinate within 3 months, though if no growth appears, the seeds can be returned to the fridge for a second cold period (3 months).

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