Monday, May 12, 2008

Great Merrybells

Great Merrybells, synonym Large-flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), is another plant some gardeners like to purchase at specialty nurseries selling wildflowers. So imagine my surprise when I happened upon them the first time on a walk in the local forest. Often two or three of these drooping yellow flowers grow on each stem, growing in clumps. They are connected by rhizomes (underground roots).
Believe it or not, young shoots are also reported to be edible when the leaves are stripped off and boiled like asparagus. I wouldn't know though. I've never eaten them!

Native Americans used the rhizomes in an infusion to relieve backache and to massage sore muscles after a long day in the woods gathering firewood. (Some days I could use that after a long walk in the woods!) They also used the infusion as a poultice to relieve toothaches.

6 comments:

dot said...

Unusual looking! I wonder if it really works on a toothache.

Rose said...

Strange looking with all the drooping flowers!

Abraham Lincoln said...

I think that would be a most useful plant to own or plant. Besides all of the reasons for aches and pains, it is just flat out beautiful.

Ex-Shammickite said...

I haven't seen that flower before, it's quite unusual... and rather lovely too!

Old Wom Tigley said...

I have to agree will Abes comment on this... I would be tempted to cook some.

Small City Scenes said...

Very beautiful. I haven't seen that one. MB

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East Gwillimbury is a rural town less than an hour north of Toronto, Canada's largest city. My family calls me CameraGirl because I take my camera with me wherever I go.