Little Merrybells, Sessile-Leaf Bellwort´╗┐

Uvularia sessilifolia

The delicate nodding flowers of little merrybells show up in the spring woods at end of April/start of May, borne on low leafy stems. At the time of flowering, the leaves of the plant are folded and not yet fully developed. The flowers superficially resemble those of bell flower, but they are longer, narrower, and white or straw-colored. Leafy stems are produced from underground rhizomes, and not all of the stems go into flowering. During the summer leaves become larger and broader, and each flowering stalk develops a side branch that overtops the developing three-sided green fruit capsule. A month after the flowering the plant looks so different that it is hard to identify it with the spring stage. A fruiting plant has two branches, its single capsule found on one of them, close above the forking point. The capsule contains one to three seeds and splits when ripe. Seeds feature fleshy appendages, which serve the purpose of attracting ants. The seeds thus are carried around, and the plant conquers new areas.

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May 3

May 21, Myles Standish SF, Plymouth

July 17, Long Duck Pond Preserve, Plymouth

November 5, Blue Hills Res., Randolph. Seeds with fleshy appendages attracting ants.