Sunday, April 24, 2016

Large-flowered Bellwort

Large-flowered Bellwort are found across much of eastern North America, including almost all of Minnesota. Formerly classified as lilies, they are now placed in the closely related family Colchicaceae.

They are common in woodland areas, and are marching up the edge of Erika’s garden. Because we do not remember planting them, these bellworts may be wild volunteers. Other gardeners report that this species can remain dormant for many years, often reappearing after European Buckthorn is eradicated. According to a reader comment in Dave’s Garden website, “Roots, shoots and leaves were used for food by early settlers. In early medicine, it was used as a general stomach remedy, [and] a poultice for wounds and skin inflammations. A concoction from the roots was used for canker sores.”

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