Uvularia is a genus of plants in the family Colchicaceae, close to the lily family (Liliaceae). They are commonly called bellworts, bellflowers or merrybells. The genus name is derived from the Latin ūvula meaning "little grape," likely because of the way the flowers hang downward. For the same reason Uvularia may also refer to the similarly derived palatine uvula, which hangs down from the soft palate in the mouth. This unusual flower is found in April and May, often on wooded slopes or in ravines and it spreads by stolons, or stoloniferous rhizomes. The plants are usually 18 to 24 inches (45-60 cm) in height and bear one or two flowers which hang downward from the axils of the leaves.
There are five species of Uvularia. All are exclusively native to North America. They grow from northern Florida to Nova Scotia west to Manitoba and south to Texas.
They have erect, simple or twice branched stems with leaves at the top of the stems that are alternate, or perfoliated. Flowers hang downward in Spring from the top of the plants. They form singularly or sometimes in pairs.
These unobtrusive woodland plants are useful in the woodland and shade garden.