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Perfoliate Bellwort Uvularia perfoliata

Phonetic Spelling
oo-voo-LAR-ee-a per-foh-lee-AY-tuh
Description

Perfoliate Bellwort is a native perennial wildflower found in moist to somewhat dry hardwood forests along the eastern coast of North America.  This variety is becoming increasingly rare in some of its native territory.  It grows best in soil that are rich in humus. In North Carolina, it is common in the Mountains and Piedmont, but rare on the coast.  Its common name Perfoliate Bellwort arises from the way the stem appears to pierce through the leaf blade.  There are typically 1 to 4 leaves below the fork in the stem. There is one leaf per node along the stem.

An early bloomer and early to go into dormancy, it can be readily identified in a still brown leaf cover of the winter forest.  Later on the growing season it will become dormant.  

A solitary flower with 6 tepals will sprout on each stem.  The tepals are up to 1.25" long and have a granular texture on the inside.  

If the conditions are favorable, it will spread through fleshy, white underground stolons to form a colony. 

The leaves and roots are edible.  The young shoots can be cooked and are a good substitute for asparagus. The roots can be eaten after being cooked.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:   Can be endangered by competition with invasive species of plants.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#native perennial#herbaceous#NC native#deer browsing plant#herbaceous perennial#native wildflower#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#native#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#audubon#low drought tolerance
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#native perennial#herbaceous#NC native#deer browsing plant#herbaceous perennial#native wildflower#food source summer#food source nectar#food source pollen#native#FACU Piedmont Mountains#FACU Coastal#audubon#low drought tolerance
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Uvularia
    Species:
    perfoliata
    Family:
    Colchicaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Canada and U.S.A.
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV
    Wildlife Value:
    Native bees seek out the nectar.
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edibility:
    The leaves and roots are edible.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Herb
    Native Plant
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Deep shade (Less than 2 hours to no direct sunlight)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    Less than 12 inches
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5b, 5a, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    > 3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit displays from June to August. Each three sided capsule will split along 2 or more seams, releasing 2 or more seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    6 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Yellow flowers bloom from April into early summer. The interior surface of the flower has a roughened texture and contains small glands.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    There is one leaf per node along the stem. The veined leaves are oblong with the widest area just below the middle and tapering at each end. They are glabrous on the upper leaf and glaucous on the underside.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Form:
    Straight
    Stem Description:
    The stems can be singular or branched. They are slender and smooth to the touch.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Small Space
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees