Friday, April 13, 2012

Native Wildflowers With Bell-Like Flowers

There are times when a gardener likes a specific type of flowering bloom. For those that like the bell-like blooms, these native wildflowers and plants will surely aim to please. They are all native to the United States and having dainty bell-shaped flowers. When you go to gather seeds for your garden, don't forget about the drug store savings that you can find rather than traditional seed businesses.

Mertensia virginica (L.) Pers. ex Link (Virginia Bluebells)

This lovely plant will get up to two feet tall and have blue bell-like flowers (pink in the bud). It will bloom March through June. Leaves are gray-green and smooth. Fruits are yellow-brown and hold the seed. It prefers moist humus rich soil and partial to full shade. You can use seed or rhizome division to propagate. Seed should be cold moist stratified before planting.

Polygonatum biflorum (Walt.) Ell. (Smooth Solomon’s Seal)

This member of the Lily Family reaches one to three feet in height. It has small white bell-like flowers from April to June and bluish black berries from August to October. Foliage is unique in that it has a fuzzy underside. Early colonists used the root tea for indigestion and coughing.

Uvularia grandiflora Sm. (Merrybells, Largeflower Bellwort)

Merrybells grow under 12 inches tall with bell-like flowers and pale green leaves. Nodding flowers bloom yellow in May. It is a clump-forming perennial that prefers shade and moist rich soil. Propagate by seed or division. If by seed, don’t let them dry out before planting. If by division, do so in fall or spring.

Uvularia sessilifolia L. (Wild Oats, Straw Lily, Spreading Bellwort)

Wild oats grow 10 to 15 inches tall with oval leaves and bell-like flowers. Perennial in growth, the flowers are cream or yellow and on short stems. It will bloom from April to May. Wild oats prefer any type of lighting and moist acidic soils. Propagate by seed or root division. Mulch Uvularia sessilifolia with leaves for compost in the winter season.


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