Uvularia perfoliata

A relatively common plant with a drooping pale yellow flowers blooming throughout the summer

Uvularia perfoliata perfoliate bellwort

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

This beautiful wildflower is fairly common, but is often overlooked. The plant has a single, pale yellowish flower that droops from the top of the stem. The flower is constructed from six overlapping tepals (three petals and three sepals that are almost identical in appearance). The slim stem appears to penetrate the clasping oval-shaped leaves. There are usually up to 4 leaves on the stem below the flower.

The perfoliate bellwort grows in moist woodlands in Eastern North America from Ontario and Quebec southwards to northern Florida. It has been documented in every county in Pennsylvania, one of only a few states where that is the case. It is endangered in Indiana and New Hampshire, and has been found in only one county in eastern Texas.

The normal blooming period for this species is Late April to June. It grows 6-20 inches high. Although not visible in the photograph the interior of the flower is rough with orange grainy glands. This is one trait that distinguishes it from the larger and more robust large-flowered bellwort. The latter also tends to have flowers with a deeper yellow color. The yellow color of these flowers was moderately bright. The plant looked wilted, but that was likely because the leaves were still unfolding.

An alternate common name for this species is wild oats, although it is not related to any grain species. This name comes from the plant’s appearance before the blossoms fully open. Another local name for the plant is merry bells.

This species is very sensitive to changes in habitat and may be eliminated by any land development.

Contributed by: Mark Welchley

Common in moist woods.

Present throughout the state.

Range: Eastern North America from Ontario and Quebec southwards to northern Florida

Wetland codes
EMP: FACU
NCNE: FACU



Flowers May through July.

S-rank:  No rank
G-rank:  G5 (Secure)

Uvularia perfoliata perfoliate bellwort

Plant grows in the wild/spontaneouslyPlant is native to PA

Uvularia perfoliata gallery
Plant Life-Form
perennial forb
Common Names
perfoliate bellwort