Large-flowered Bellwort (Uvularia grandiflora), a member of the lily family, strikes one as a rather modest plant, hiding its six-parted flowers by hanging them face down towards the ground. This arrangement influenced Linnaeus when he was assigning this plant the generic name Uvularia, as he felt the pendant blossoms resembled a uvula, that lobe that hangs from the upper palate at the back of our throats!
Many insects are attracted to this plant’s pollen and nectar, particularly bumble bees and other types of bees. Ants distribute Large-flowered Bellwort seeds, attracted by the fatty elaiosomes attached to the them. And White-tailed Deer graze so heavily on this plant that you won’t find it in woods that are overpopulated with deer.
Like Bloodroot and many other spring ephemerals, Trout-Lily (also known as Dog-tooth Violet and Adder’s Tongue) remains closed at night and on overcast days. On sunny days, bees are its main pollinators, but it is visited by many other insects, including Red-necked False Blister Beetles that feed on both its pollen and ovules.
When a bee visits a Trout-Lily flower, it usually removes half of the available pollen in one visit. In no apparent hurry, it often pauses in the middle of collecting to groom itself and pack pollen into the pollen baskets on its hind legs. It then heads directly back to its hive to unload the pollen. Unfortunately for the Trout Lily, this hampers cross-pollination, as it severely limits the amount of pollen that reaches other Trout Lily flowers. As compensation, Trout Lily has two sets of anthers – one set opens one day, the other opens the next, preventing a bee from collecting all the pollen from a given flower in one day, giving other insects the opportunity to cross-pollinate. (Photo: Red-necked False Blister Beetle)