Wildflower Wednesday: Merrybells

Wildflower Wednesday is hosted on the fourth Wednesday of every month by Gail at Clay and Limestone

Sadly, I have no blooming wildflowers to write about at this time. However, in anticipation of the coming spring (only 59 days to go!), I will talk about one of my favorite spring wildflowers for shade: Merrybells (Uvularia grandiflora).

Merrybells, Uvularia grandiflora
Merrybells on the west side of the garage.

Merrybells should be used more widely than they are. Both the nodding yellow flowers and the pale green foliage are lovely and distinctive. A May bloomer, it provides good early forage for native bees.

U. grandiflora also forms an attractive groundcover throughout the season in a shady, reasonably moist spot. In drier locations it will go dormant in summer.

This wildflower is native to deciduous woods of eastern North America. If planted in the right spot, I’ve found it to be a care free plant. Merrybells spreads moderately to form clumps, which can be divided in spring or fall. U. grandiflora’s other common name is large-flowered bellwort, but I think merrybells is a much better name, evoking the image of festivities on the village green.

Merrybells, Uvularia grandiflora, Bleeding Heart, Dicentra spectabilis var. alba
Merrybells with white Bleeding Heart.

25 Comments on “Wildflower Wednesday: Merrybells”

  1. Hello Jason, I guess it is not a weed anymore in your garden, it is beautiful. Maybe all domestic ornamental plants except the hybrids maybe weeds at the beginning. By the way Jason, I have difficulty visiting your site as if i click your link in your comment, it doesn’t open, even it is Jason or gardeninacity. I’ve tried many times and you might think i am not reading your posts as i don’t leave a comment. This time it didn’t open again, but i tried opening ‘About” first then suddenly it opened. I wondered if it is my computer or wordpress which makes the difference. I experienced this with wordpress several times. Thanks.

  2. Hmmm… I’ve heard of merrybells but had never read about them as being easy clumpers. I thought they were fussy ephemerals. Now I’m mentally wandering my garden looking for a spot to stick them in. 🙂 How much moisture do they need? I’m a zone 7a.

  3. Hi Jason, I’ve not heard of Merrybells but I really like the white Dicentra (although it’s not called Dicentra anymore, is it? Dammit if I can remember the new name). I’ve got a few of the pink ones, but a “rogue” white one in among a load of pink would look lovely.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: