(Uvularia perfoliala) Bunch-flower family

Flowers - Fragrant, pale yellow, about 1 in. long, drooping

singly (rarely 2) from tips of branches; perianth narrow,

bell-shaped, of 6 petal-like segments, rough within, spreading at

the tip; 6 stamens; 3 styles united to the middle. Stem: 6 to 20

in. high, smooth, shining, forking about half way. Leaves:

Apparently strung on the slender stem, oval, tapering at tip.

Preferred Habitat - Moist, rich woods; thickets.

Flowering Season - May-June.

Distribution - Quebec to the Gulf of Mexico, west to Mississippi.

Hanging like a palate (uvula) from the roof of a mouth, according

to imaginative Linnaeus, the little bellwort droops, and so

modestly hides behind the leaf its footstalk pierces that the eye

often fails to find it when so many more showy blossoms arrest

attention in the May woods. Slight fragrance helps to guide the

keen bumblebee to the pale yellow bell. The tips spreading apart

very little and the flower being pendent, how is she to reach the

nectar secreted at the base of each of its six divisions? Is it

not more than probable that the inner surface is rough, as if

dusted with yellow meal, to provide a foothold for her as she

clings? Now securely hanging from within the inhospitable flower,

her long tongue can easily drain the sweets, and in doing so she

will receive pollen, to be deposited, in all probability, on the

stigmatic style branches of the next bellwort entered.

With a more westerly range than the perfoliate species, the

similar LARGE-FLOWERED BELLWORT (U. grandiflora) grows in like

situations. Its greenish lemon-yellow flowers, an inch to an inch

and a half long, appear from April to May, or when the female

bumblebees, that fly before their lords, are the only insects

large and strong enough to force an entrance. Mr. Trelease, who

noted them on the flowers near Madison, Wisconsin, saw that one

laden with pollen from another blossom came in contact with the

three sticky branches of the style, protruding between the

anthers, when she crawled between the anthers and sepals, as she

must, to reach the nectar secreted at the base. But the linear

anthers shedding their pollen longitudinally, there is a chance

that the flower may fertilize itself should no bee arrive before

a certain point is reached.

The SESSILE-LEAVED BELLWORT, or WILD OAT (U. sessifolia), as its

name implies, has its thin, pale green leaves tapering at either

end, seated on the stem, not surrounding it, or apparently strung

on it. The smaller flower is cream colored. A sharply

three-angled capsule about an inch long follows. Range from

Minnesota and Arkansas to the Atlantic.


(Lilium Canadense) Lily family

Flowers - Yellow to orange-red, of a deeper shade within, and

speckled with dark reddish-brown dots. One or several (rarely

many) nodding on long peduncles from the summit. Perianth

bell-shaped, of 6 spreading segments 2 to 3 in. long, their tips

curved backward to the middle; 6 stamens, with reddish-brown

linear anthers; 1 pistil, club-shaped; the stigma 3-lobed. Stem:

2 to 5 ft. tall, leafy, from a bulbous rootstock composed of

numerous fleshy white scales. Leaves: Lance-shaped, to oblong;

usually in whorls of fours to tens, or some alternate. Fruit: An

erect, oblong, 3-celled capsule, the flat, horizontal seeds

packed in 2 rows in each cavity.

Preferred Habitat - Swamps, low meadows; moist fields. Flowering

Season - June-July.

Distribution - Nova Scotia to Georgia, westward beyond the


Not our gorgeous lilies that brighten the low-lying meadows in

early summer with pendent, swaying bells; possibly not a true

lily at all was chosen to illustrate the truth which those who

listened to the Sermon on the Mount, and we, equally anxious,

foolishly overburdened folk of to-day, so little comprehend.

"Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow;

they toil not, neither do they spin

And yet I say unto you,

That even Solomon in all his glory

was not arrayed like one of these."

Opinions differ as to the lily of Scripture. Eastern peoples use

the same word interchangeably for the tulip, anemone, ranunculus,

iris, the water-lilies, and those of the field. The superb

Scarlet Martagon Lily (L. chalcedonicum), grown in gardens here,

is not uncommon wild in Palestine; but whoever has seen the large

anemones there "carpeting every plain and luxuriantly pervading

the land" is inclined to believe that Jesus, who always chose the

most familiar objects in the daily life of His simple listeners

to illustrate His teachings, rested His eyes on the slopes about

Him glowing with anemones in all their matchless loveliness. What

flower served Him then matters not at all. It is enough that

scientists - now more plainly than ever before - see the

universal application of the illustration the more deeply they

study nature, and can include their "little brothers of the air"

and the humblest flower at their feet when they say with Paul,

"In God we live and move and have our being."

Tallest and most prolific of bloom among our native lilies, as it

is the most variable in color, size, and form, the TURK'S CAP, or

TURBAN LILY (L. superburn), sometimes nearly merges its identity

into its Canadian sister's. Travelers by rail between New York

and Boston know how gorgeous are the low meadows and marshes in

July or August, when its clusters of deep yellow, orange, or

flame-colored lilies tower above the surrounding vegetation. Like

the color of most flowers, theirs intensifies in salt air.

Commonly from three to seven lilies appear in a terminal group;

but under skilful cultivation even forty will crown the stalk

that reaches a height of nine feet where its home suits it

perfectly; or maybe only a poor array of dingy yellowish caps top

a shriveled stem when unfavorable conditions prevail. There

certainly are times when its specific name seems extravagant.

Its range is from Maine to the Carolinas, westward to Minnesota

and Tennessee. A well-conducted Turk's cap is not bell-shaped at

maturity, like the Canada lily: it should open much farther,

until the six points of its perianth curve so far backward beyond

the middle as to expose the stamens for nearly their entire

length. One of the purple-dotted divisions of the flower when

spread out flat may measure anywhere from two and a half to four

inches in length. Smooth, lance-shaped leaves, tapering at both

ends, occur in whorls of threes to eights up the stem, or the

upper ones may be alternate. Abundant food, hidden in a round,

white-shingled storehouse under ground, nourishes the plant, and

similarly its bulb-bearing kin, when emergency may require - a

thrifty arrangement that serves them in good stead during

prolonged drought and severe winters.

Why, one may ask, are some lilies radiantly colored and speckled;

others, like the Easter lily, deep chaliced, white, spotless?

Now, in all our lily kin nectar is secreted in a groove at the

base of each of the six divisions of the flower, and upon its

removal by that insect best adapted to come in contact with

anthers and stigma as it flies from lily to lily depends all hope

of perpetuating the lovely race. For countless ages it has been

the flower's business to find what best pleased the visitors on

whom so much depended. Some lilies decided to woo one class of

insects; some, another. Those which literally set their caps for

color-loving bees and butterflies whose long tongues could easily

drain nectar deeply hidden from the mob for their special

benefit, assumed gay hues, speckling the inner side of their

spreading divisions, even providing lines as pathfinders to their

nectaries in some cases, lest a visitor try to thrust in his

tongue between the petal-like parts while standing on the

outside, and so defeat their well-laid plan. It is almost

pathetic to see how bright and spotted they are inside, that the

visitor may not go astray. Thus we find the chief pollenizers of

the Canada and the Turk's cap lilies to be specialized bees, the

interesting upholsterers, or 1eaf-cutters, conspicuous among the

throng. Nectar they want, of course; but the dark, rich pollen is

needed also to mix with it for the food supply of a generation

still unborn. Anyone who has smelled a lily knows how his nose

looks afterward. The bees have no difficulty whatever in removing

lily pollen and transferring it. So much for the colored lilies.

The long, white, trumpet-shape type of lily chooses for her lover

the sphinx moth. For him she wears a spotless white robe -

speckles would be superfluous - that he may see it shine in the

dusk, when colored flowers melt into the prevailing blackness;

for him she breathes forth a fragrance almost overwhelming at

evening, to guide him to her neighborhood from afar; in

consideration of his very long, slender tongue she hides her

sweets so deep that none may rob him of it, taking the additional

precaution to weld her six once separate parts together into a

solid tube lest any pilferer thrust in his tongue from the side.

The common orange-tan DAY LILY (Hemerocallis fulva) and the

commoner speckled, orange-red TIGER LILY (L. tigrinum) are not

slow in seizing opportunities to escape from gardens into

roadsides and fence corners.

PARTRIDGE VINE TWINBERRY MITCHELLAVINE SQUAWBERRY PICKEREL WEED facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail