Mariton: You Don’t See This Everyday

May 8, 2015

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

Perfoliated bellwort

I have often said that Perfoliated Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) is Mariton’s official spring flower.  Then this spring the Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum pubescens) came up first and was very abundant.  For a week, I thought maybe the Bellwort would be overrun by the Solomon’s Seal.  Not to worry, the Bellwort soon came out and carpeted areas of Mariton’s forest and fields.

P. Bellwort clump

The photo above is a small clump of Perfoliated Bellwort.  That alone is interesting, because usually this species is scattered about the forest and doesn’t grow as a ground cover.  Notice in the photos how the stem “perforates” the leaf (folia).  Now think about the Uvula in the back of your throat.  The Latin name for this species is very descriptive.

P. Bellwort field

The photo above is in one of Mariton’s fields.  Basically, everything green is the Perfoliated Bellwort.  The exception is the large green leaves way in the background, which are Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum).  At Mariton, the bellwort not only forms a wildflower carpet in the forest, but also in the fields where you would barely expect to find this species.