Uvularia, the old botanists called it, because, said they, searching for something with which to compare the plant, "The flowers hang, like the uvula or palate." This seems to be a very prosaic reason for naming a light and airy spring flower with its gold bells twinkling through the woods when April once again is on the land.
Uvularia gtandifiora Sm.
April Woods, hills.
From smooth brown sheaths protecting the young shoots, the stems grow rapidly from the rich earth of a moist, ferny hillside. These are smooth and grey-green with parallel veins, and apparently grow with the stem piercing the leaf. This is called a perfoliate leaf and is one of the best ways to identify the bellwort, either in bloom or out of bloom. From the bending, thin stems hang the tight, green-yellow buds which open to form six-parted, bright yellow flowers which last for some time in the spring woods. The flowers finally fall away and there appear tight, three-angled fruits which remain on the stalks all summer long.
The flowers of the bellwort come apart in the plan of three, which marks it a lily. Inside the narrow bell there is a deep, honey-bearing groove, bordered on each side by a thick ridge. Here insects which have come for bellwort nectar must sip, and then back out, scraping off pollen on their wings and backs as they go. Then they carry the pollen to another bellwort, pollination of the flower is accomplished, and the seeds soon will form.