Sep 15 2009

Fall Colors: Bottle Gentian

Published by at 7:28 am under Phenology,Plants

Closed Gentian (photo by Dianne Machesney)

Here's a flower that I look for in September at Moraine State Park.  Closed or Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) likes to grow in damp soil so I risk getting my feet wet when I look for it.  It's always a pleasant surprise to find it.

The petals of Bottle Gentians never open but a bumblebee can force its way into the flower at the top.  In fact, bumblebees are just about the only insect who wants to - and can - collect the nectar. 

It seems to me this is a lot of trouble to go to for each flower.  It must be worth it.

(photo by Dianne Machesney)

One response so far

One Response to “Fall Colors: Bottle Gentian”

  1. Mary Ann Pikeon 16 Sep 2009 at 8:09 am

    A beautiful flower. I saw one at Presque Isle a few weeks ago. But the design seems less than optimal from an evolutionary standpoint, although I guess it does OK. One of the flowers I saw had a hole in the side. I think I read that some insects will chew through the flower since that’s the only way they can get in.

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