08.15.2019 Meadow-bottle Gentian

As summer moves along and autumn approaches, there are certain flowers one starts to anticipate.  For me, it’s the gentians.  First appears the closed or bottle gentians.  In today’s post, the Meadow-bottle Gentian-Gentiana clausa.

This is about as open as they get. The petals are almost completely fused with just a bit of separation at the top. About the only pollinators that can get in there are bumblebees that spend a lot of time at the gym.

I’ve found these in a few locations, but the ones with the most profuse populations have been along water edges.  In this case it was a pond in the Berkshires here in Western Massachusetts.  I’ve seen some large numbers along the Westfield River in the Chesterfield Gorge as well.

There were quite a few clusters like this one in this spot.

Now we wait for another few weeks until my favorites, the Fringed Gentian-Gentianopsis crinita to start blooming. I will still seek them out in the wild, but this year I planted a few in the yard so am hoping to see them here too.


About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
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8 Responses to 08.15.2019 Meadow-bottle Gentian

  1. It’s interesting that a few species manage to thrive with a closed floral architecture when the huge majority of flowers are wide open to the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. shoreacres says:

    When I saw these, my first thought was of the bottle trees that are common across the south. Cobalt is the traditional color, and the practice is so old I can’t help wondering if the plant got its common name from the bottle trees. Of course, the resemblance of the bloom to a bottle is the simpler explanation.

    Still, even the specific epithet calls bottle trees to mind. The point of the bottle trees was to trap evil spirits while they were roaming at night. In the light of day, they’d be destroyed by the sunlight, but in the meantime, those spirits might well have been feeling somewhat claustrophobic.


    • Wow, apparently they are quite popular in many places and even have their own history and how-to book. I’ve never heard of them until your mention just now.

      Bottle gentians, aka closed, seem to have received their name because of their resemblance. I am not sure if they predate bottle trees or got their name from that tradition. But their coloration and the cobalt bottles are very much alike.


  3. bluebrightly says:

    Gentians are special, thank you for posting these. I think Fringed Gentian was my mother’s favorite when she lived in western NC.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad that you enjoyed this, Lynn. I think you may have mentioned that once before when I posted a fringed gentian. I plan on shooting them again this year, especially since I bought a couple and planted them in a barrel planter behind the house. 🙂


      • bluebrightly says:

        I’m sure you’re right – I’m repeating myself – I thought I might have told you that. 🙂 And now that you mention planting them I definitely remember. Just took a little nudge. The blues here are beautiful – you had the perfect light, you exposed it just right, and them you processed them with just the right amount of saturation – and restraint.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for the nice critique, Lynn. If you knew me locally you would know that I regularly repeat stories as I am unable to recall whether I have told any one of them to any one particular person. 🙂 So my mentioning remembering yours is only to show that I was paying attention. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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