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Grow Native, Shade-Loving, Large-Flowered Bellwort in the Garden

The emergence of the long-lasting flowers of Uvularia grandiflora is something I really anticipate every spring. And every spring, my robust stand of ‘Large-Flowered Bellwort’ slowly opens their large, pendulous, bright golden-yellow flowers that resemble inverted flowing candle flames.

Average plant height is about 18 to 24 inches, and the medium green foliage of the plant provides a perfect foil for the unusually shaped flowers.

The name Uvularia comes from a part of the human anatomy, the Uvula, which is that funny little appendage hanging down at the back of your throat. Can you see the resemblance? Isn't botanical nomenclature easy? Uvularia grandiflora is a very long-lived, hardy perennial and is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in dappled sun to full shade. In nature, it occurs in moist, humousy soil in part shade and is native to more than half of the United States and Canada. Hardiness is in USDA Zones 4-10 with full shade a must for plantings in the Deep South. It's an excellent companion plant for Ferns, Hellebores, Arisaemas, Trilliums, and the list goes on and on.

I wish that I could say that they're 100-percent deerproof, but on occasion, a curious young fawn may take a nibble. Different deer populations have different tastes and may completely ignore them.

You can also find two other native Uvularia species: Uvularia sessilifolia and Uvularia perfoliata. These species are smaller in stature, but equally as showy and are perfect for a shady rock garden, along a path or in the front of a shade border.

In the meantime, I've built a nice stock of 5-year-old flowering size Uvularia grandiflora and I know that they'll make a great addition to your garden and will bring you the same pleasure that they bring me every spring for many, many years to come.

Barry Glick is the owner of Sunshine Farm and Gardens in West Virginia. If you have any questions, send an email to Barry's email address. Barry’s entire Speakers Portfolio is now on line, so, if you're looking for a dynamic, entertaining, educating speaker for your Master Gardener Group, Garden Club, Civic Organization etc, you can peruse it here. You can follow Sunshine Farm and Gardens on Twitter and become a fan on Facebook. Read all of his MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.


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