Uvularia sessilifolia L.
Spreading bellwort, Straw lily, Wild oats, Merrybells, Sessile-leaf bellwort
Liliaceae (Lily Family)
The 10-15 in. stalks of this perennial
are usually two-branched and bear oval,
lily-like leaves. Delicate, cream-colored flowers may be single or paired and hang bell-like on short axillary
stems. The 1 or 2 creamy yellow, drooping flowers are at the top of an angled stem
having unstalked leaves. The roots colonize to form a groundcover.
This common woodland wildflower has a near relative, Perfoliate
Bellwort (U. perfoliata
), whose stem
appears to pierce the leaves. The interior surface of the flowers is roughened with small glands. A bigger version, Large-flowered Bellwort (U. grandiflora
), has bright yellow flowers and perfoliate
leaves which are downy beneath. It reaches a height of 20 (50 cm). Mountain Bellwort (U. pudica
) has shiny leaves and stems in clumps, and is similar to Sessile
Bellwort, as is Florida Bellwort (U. floridana
), which has a small, leaf-like bract
on the flower stalk. At one time these plants were thought to be good for treating throat diseases because the drooping flowers resembled the uvula, the soft lobe
hanging into the throat from the soft palate.
Image Gallery: 8 photo(s) available
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf Retention: Deciduous Leaf Complexity: Simple Size Notes:
Generally 6 to 12 inches tall Leaf:
Green in summer 1 inch Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Apr , May
Bloom Notes: Typically pale yellow in color
AL , AR , CT , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , IA , KY , LA , ME , MD , MA , MI , MN , MS , MO , NH , NJ , NY , NC , ND , OH , OK , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , VT , VA , WV , WI , DC Canada: NB
, ON Native Distribution:
N.B. to MN to the Dakotas, s. to extreme n. FL & OK, Zones 4 to 8 Native Habitat:
Woods, thickets, clearings USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade , Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Moist, rich, acidic soils. Prefers high humus and good drainage.
Conditions Comments: Does not tolerate flooding.
groundcover for shade Conspicuous Flowers: