|Soil:||Sand, Loam, Clay|
|Zones:||3, 4, 5, 6, 7|
One of the first woodland wildflowers to emerge in spring, Bellwort is a long-lived perennial of the lily family (Liliaceae). This early-blooming native makes a unique contribution to any wooded area or shade garden. Distinctive, drooping yellow flowers and leaves are produced on attractive vase-shaped clumps 12 - 20” tall. Unlike so many spring wildflowers which go dormant after blooming, Bellwort stays attractive and interesting throughout the summer. The plants become more erect after flowering and start look more like Solomon’s seal. After setting seed the stems lengthen and look like needles threading the leaves.
Bellwort has a clumping habit and looks best naturalized or planted in groups. It does best in light to moderate shade in medium to moist fertile soil. Established plants are tolerant of dry spells, and seldom require supplemental watering. The attractive clumps can be divided in the fall. Bellwort spreads slowy by rhizome to form colonies.
A wide variety of native bee species feed on the nectar and collect pollen from the flowers. Bellwort releases seeds that have attached food bodies (elaiosome). The substance is attractive to ants which then collect and redistribute the seeds.
Planting Tips: We recommend planting ephemerals in the early fall while the soil is still warm, or in early spring. Spring installations will have some time to develop before summer dormancy, but will not produce flowers the first year. An early fall planting allows the roots time to establish properly before winter, and gives the plants a stronger start the following spring. This woodland species appreciates a generous application of leaf mulch in the fall.