Anna Fialkoff completes her year-long exploration of native medicinal plants at Garden in the Woods with Uvularia perfoliata, perfoliate bellwort.
By Anna Fialkoff
This member of the Liliaceae family is native in New England to CT, MA, NH, RI, and VT, becoming rare in northern New England. It is found in dry-mesic to mesic sites in deciduous forests and openings. The flower stems of Uvularia perfoliata appear to arise from the center of the leaves, appearing to pierce them. The interior surface of the flowers is roughened with small glands.
The one-inch long yellow to pale yellow flowers, blooming May to June, are located on 6-18 inch tall plants. It prefers a sunny location in a moist habitat in loam.
The distribution outside of New England is south to Florida, west to Wisconsin and Texas.
Native Americans used the root tea as a cough medicine, and for sore or inflamed mouth, gums and throat.
Find it at Garden in the Woods in the Woodland Garden
Please note: This article is for historical information use only. New England Wild Flower Society does not advocate the use of any native plants for medicinal purposes.
New England Wild Flower Society is part of the community of non-profits in Framingham, MA, which is collaborating on a town-wide celebration of the role the citizens of Framingham played in the Civil War for the 150th anniversary of that conflict. New England Wild Flower Society offered several special tours of Garden in the Woods in April and August with particular emphasis on herbal plants used for medicinal purposes during the Civil War. In the fall of 2010, Anna Fialkoff, horticultural apprentice, constructed an herb garden including an herb spiral in the Idea Garden. Her notes are the basis of this series of articles.