21. Uvularia Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 304. 1753; Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 144. 1754.
Bellwort, merrybells [Latin uvula, alluding to the flowers hanging like that organ, and to formerly supposed efficacy in treating diseases of it]
Frederick H. Utech & Shoichi Kawano
OakesiaOakesia S. Watson; OakesiellaOakesiella Small
Herbs, caulescent, glabrous or pubescent, from short or elongate rhizomes bearing several fibrous or thickened roots. Stems simple or 1-branched, excluding flower-bearing branches, strongly angled or rounded, with sheathing, papery bracts proximally. Leaves alternate, sessile or perfoliate; blade oblong-linear to oblong-ovate, membranaceous to leathery. Inflorescences 1 per branch, terminal but appearing axillary; peduncles pendent. Flowers: perianth narrowly campanulate; tepals promptly deciduous, imbricate, distinct, linear to narrowly oblong, apex obtuse or acute, nectariferous; stamens distinct to weakly connate at perianth base; filaments dimorphic, glabrous; anthers linear-oblong, extrorse; connectives present; ovary superior, 3-locular, sessile or stipitate, rounded to sharply triangular; style 1, 3-lobed; stigmas 3, lobed, outwardly arching at maturity. Fruits capsular, greenish to yellowish brown, sessile or stipitate, leathery or submembranaceous, tardily dehiscent, dehiscence loculicidal. Seeds 1–3 per locule, brownish red, globose to ovoid; arils various. x = 6, 7.
Species 5 (5 in the flora): e North America.
Uvularia, a genus of attractive, spring-blooming plants, has been divided into sect. Oakesiella (Small) Wilbur with sessile leaves and sect. Uvularia with perfoliate leaves. Differences in other morphological (R. L. Wilbur 1963) and cytological (F. H. Utech 1978d) characters support recognition of these infrageneric groups.
D. K. Wijesinghe and D. F. Whigham (1997, 2001) compared the different, below-ground, vegetative morphologies of three Uvularia species and their relationship to their differing clonal populations and dynamics.
Anderson, E. and T. W. Whitaker. 1934. Speciation in Uvularia. J. Arnold Arbor. 15: 28–42. Dietz, R. A. 1952. Variation in the perfoliate uvularias. Ann. Missouri Bot. Gard. 39: 219–247. Hayashi, K. et al. 1998. Molecular systematics of the genus Uvularia and selected Liliales based upon matK and rbcL gene sequence data. Pl. Spec. Biol. 13: 129–146. Kawano, S. and H. H. Iltis. 1964. Cytotaxonomic and geographic notes on Uvularia (Liliaceae). Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 91: 13–23. Soper, J. H. 1952. Phytogeographic studies in Ontario I. The genus Uvularia in southern Ontario. Rhodora 54: 58–67. Wijesinghe, D. K. and D. F. Whigham. 2001. Nutrient foraging in woodland herbs: A comparison of three species of Uvularia (Liliaceae) with contrasting belowground morphologies. Amer. J. Bot. 88: 1071–1079. Wilbur, R. L. 1963. A revision of the North American genus Uvularia (Liliaceae). Rhodora 65: 158–188.