Fringed Gentian Facts
- Perhaps most notably of all, the distinctive term of Fringed Gentian serves as the most frequently used of the common names for a gorgeous variety of Angiosperm. However, its two alternate common names consist of such equally descriptive terms as the blue gentian, and the greater blue gentian.
- Yet, the majority of professional botanists may most commonly know the gorgeous species best by its difficult to pronounce scientific name of the Gentianopsis crinita. Furthermore, this stunning marvel of Nature also remains quite famous among a respectably large percentage of professional researchers.
- That very impressive perspective also holds true due to an enviable statistic. That’s the fact that, in the opinion of many botanists, this species easily ranks as one of the most interesting flowers in the world. This greatly elevated position occurs due to some of its comparatively unique characteristics.
- Firstly, the extremely sensitive and comparatively delicate blooms of the Fringed Gentian only open on bright, sunny days. Furthermore, these flowers typically remain closed if bright sunshine remains absent. In addition, the species also has a short lifespan, with most plants living for less than two years.
- Fortunately, though, this visually breathtaking Angiosperm appears to still be relatively prevalent throughout the entirety of its tiny native range. Therefore, the IUCN currently lists it as Least Concern, on its Red List. Nonetheless, it could potentially be at some risk due to the effects of climate change.
Fringed Gentian Physical Description
To the surprise of many people who learn of it, the magnificent Fringed Gentian also merits respect for other factors than just its great beauty. That statement holds true due to the surprising fact that this work of Nature also achieves a great physical size, compared to most related species. In point of fact, this remarkable variety of Angiosperm attains an astounding average height measuring approximately 3.3 ft (1 m).
However, some specimens of the species may remain shorter, depending on variable environmental conditions. But, regardless of height, its most notable feature likely remains the stunning blooms it produces. That’s because of the fringed, lacy structure of the petals. This, quite understandably, serves as the source of the common name for the plant, which also evolved as both a perennial, and herbaceous in nature.
Furthermore, each of the stunning flowers of the Fringed Gentian appear at the end of a single long, tapering stalk. In color, this typically displays a brilliantly iridescent blue. Its delicate blossoms also produce a sweet, delicate scent, for which it remains well known. Also, each of these stalks attain a length of as much as 8 in (20 cm). Finally, the leaves grow in abundance and average about 2 in (5 cm) in length.
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Phylum: Tracheophytes
- Class: Angiosperms
- Order: Gentianales
- Family: Gentianaceae
- Genus: Gentianopsis
- Species: G. crinita
Fringed Gentian Distribution, Habitat, and Ecology
Quite unfortunately, and despite being listed as Least Concern, the beautiful Fringed Gentian only inhabits an extremely tiny portion of the world. In point of fact, the Angiosperm only lives in the wild in eastern parts of the United States, and eastern Canada. Further, within that area, it typically appears from the southern Appalachian Mountains north into New England and west to Manitoba and Iowa.
However, scattered individuals can be seen as far south as the mountains of the state of Georgia. Despite that range, it only grows in widely scattered pockets, with its total population remaining low. But, its astonishing beauty has led to the species being transplanted in small numbers in other regions, including, to the great surprise of many of those who learn of it, the majestic Yellowstone National Park.
Nevertheless, in the various regions it does appear in, the Fringed Gentian, despite its otherwise fragile nature, displays a remarkable tendency. That’s because it most commonly develops in thinly wooded sections, various wet meadows, and the banks of streams and brooks. Areas it grows in include very damp sand prairies, edges of sandy sloughs and swales, sandy pannes along Lake Michigan, near ravines, and even ditches.
Remarkably, this awesome species of Angiosperm continues to hold its own in some areas. This largely occurs due to its natural resourcefulness, in being able to live where few other plants can. In addition, when it does make an appearance, few animals find its foliage palatable, reducing its vulnerability. Furthermore, for reasons that presently remain unknown, its flowers generally attract bumblebees, instead of honey bees.