We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update!

We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update!

We're reaching into the archives for today's #BenInNature update! The following post was originally published on April 10, 2020.

This is Uvularia sessilifolia, also known as the sessile bellwort or "wild oats." I've been finding a ton of these in the woods just recently, and they're pretty interesting little wildflowers. The Latin name "Uvularia" means "little grape," which likely refers to the way the flowers of plants in this genus hang down and point to the earth. That's also how the uvula, that little fleshy thing that hangs off the soft palate at the back of the throat, got its name! Uvularia sessilifolia are closely related to the lily family, and they can be found in deciduous forests throughout the eastern and central U.S., particularly on slopes and in ravines. While this plant does produce flowers, the flowers often do not result in seeds. This plant generally reproduces asexually by sending off long underground runners called "stolons" that produce roots at various intervals and sprout new plants. If you've ever grown strawberries in your garden, you've likely seen your strawberry plants produce stolons. As a result of this method of reproduction, if you find a bunch of Uvularia sessilifolia growing close together out in the woods, they likely are not individual plants; they're actually one big plant connected by underground runners!

ABOUT #BenInNature
Social distancing can be difficult, but it presents a great opportunity to become reacquainted with nature. In this series of posts, Administrator of Science Ben Williams ventures outdoors to record a snapshot of the unique sights that can be found in the natural world. New updates are posted Monday - Friday, with previous posts highlighted on the weekends.

If you discover something in nature that you would like help identifying, be sure to message us right here on Facebook with a picture (please include location and date of picture) and we'll have our experts help you identify it!

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