Uvularia grandiflora Sm.
Family: Colchicaceae
large-flower bellwort,  more...
Uvularia grandiflora image
Rhizomes short, ca. 1 cm, bearing clustered, fleshy roots; stolons absent. Stems 1-several, 1-branched, rounded, 2-7.5 dm, glabrous, typically bearing 1 leaf below lowest branch. Leaf blades perfoliate, elliptic to ovate-oblong, 6-13.5 × 2-6.5 cm, white-pubescent (rarely glabrous) on abaxial veins, margins smooth, apex acute. Flowers 1-3(-4) per stem; peduncles 1-2.5 cm, bearing 1 perfoliate bract; tepals golden yellow, 25-50 × 3-10 mm, smooth adaxially, apex acuminate; stamens 10-25 mm; anthers (8-)12-15(-20) mm; connectives 0.3-0.7 mm; ovary sessile, obovoid; style 8-12 mm; stigma lobes 2-5 mm. Capsules obovoid to obpyramidal, 3-lobed, 1-1.5 × 1-2 cm, 2 truncate beaks per lobe, lobes rounded. Seeds 2.5-4.5 mm; arils membranous. 2n = 14. Flowering spring--early summer. Rich moist woods, calcareous to neutral soils; 0--1100 m; Man., Ont., Que.; Ala., Ark., Conn., Ga., Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kans., Ky., Md., Mass., Mich., Minn., Miss., Mo., N.H., N.Y., N.C., N.Dak., Ohio, Okla., Pa., S.Dak., Tenn., Vt., Va., W.Va, Wis.
Perennial herb with a short, slender rhizome stem 20 cm - 1 m tall Leaves: alternate, pierced by the stem (perfoliate), 6 - 13.5 cm long, 2 - 6.5 cm wide, broadly oval to oblong egg-shaped with a pointed tip, hairy-veined beneath. Usually only one leaf grows beneath the fork of the stem. Flowers: one to three per stem, terminal (but appearing axillary), nodding, golden yellow, narrowly bell-shaped, with six distinct tepals. Tepals over-lapping, 2.5 - 5 cm long, 3 - 10 mm wide, elongate, twisted, with a pointed tip. Flower stalk 1 - 2.5 cm long, with a single, fused bract. Stamens six, 1 - 2.5 cm long. Fruit: a three-lobed capsule, greenish to yellowish brown, 1 - 1.5 cm long, 1 - 2 cm wide, egg-shaped to pyramid-shaped. Seeds brownish red, nearly spherical. Stems: one to several, upright, forked above the middle, with sheathing bracts at the base.

Similar species: The perfoliate leaves distinguish this species and Uvularia perfoliata from U. sessilifolia. Uvularia perfoliata differs by having hairless leaf undersides and glands inside its pale yellow flowers.

Flowering: mid-April to late May

Habitat and ecology: Locally frequent in wet woods, often where it is calcareous and sloping. Especially common on northeast-facing wooded slopes near Lake Michigan in Indiana Dunes State Park.

Occurence in the Chicago region: native

Etymology: Uvularia comes from the word uvula (the soft lobe that dangles at the back of the throat) of which the drooping flowers resemble. Grandiflora means "with large flowers."

Author: The Morton Arboretum

Stem 2-5 dm at anthesis, at maturity to 1 m, forking above, bearing (0)1(2) lvs below the fork, 4-8 on the sterile branch, and several lvs and 1-4 fls on the fertile branch; lvs perfoliate, broadly oval to oblong, to 12 cm, usually minutely hairy beneath; fls yellow, nodding; tep 2.5-5 cm, acute or acuminate, smooth within; 2n=14. Rich woods, preferring calcareous soil; Me. and s. Que. to Minn. and N.D., s. to Conn., Va., n. Ga., Ala., and Okla. Apr., May.

Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.

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