Shady woodland spring stars

This is Uvularia grandiflora, commonly known as large-flowered bellwort.  It is a wildflower native to eastern North America and can be found as far west as Manitoba and the Dakotas, and as far north as Quebec, and as far south as Georgia and Lousiana.  It flowers in May with languorous yellow bell-shaped blooms and I caught this specimen, among many, on a walk a couple of weeks ago close to Wakefield, Quebec.  It is a favourite nectar source for several different varieties of bees.

It grows up to 18 – 20″ tall and will stay green throughout the summer if the location is shaded and the soil remains moist; otherwise, it will act as an ephemeral.

The great white trillium or white wakerobin (Trillium grandiflorum) is, of course, the official flower of Ontario.  In my youth, I remember that it was illegal to take plants from the woods and they were certainly never sold in the nurseries so these plants were always considered magical and temperamental.  It is true that raised from seed, trilliums take 20 months to emerge as seedlings from the soil, making their propagation a long-term commitment for any gardener!

These natives are ephemeral and disappear after flowering and going to seed, so their placement is best marked so they’re not disturbed during any autumn digging in the garden.

Do you have a favourite wildflower in your garden?

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