09.12.2019 The Lovely Fringed Gentian

Painted trillium in the Spring, too many to have a favorite in Summer, and these in the Autumn.  I always look forward to Greater Fringed Gentian-Gentianopsis crinita flowers.  I checked on the ones I find in North Quabbin last weekend, only expecting to see some buds, and was surprised to find one plant with several opened blooms.  Usually they don’t open fully until the sun has warmed them for a while but these were ahead of schedule.  I found this one bloom that I could isolate against a pleasing background.

You might notice the tiny bit of white on the edges and what seems to be bites.  I am not sure what is happening but noticed a lot of white at the tips of the unopened flowers and some brown spots as well. I think the brown spots end up crumbling rather than the gaps being bites.

Although we haven’t had much rain, this location still would appear to have enough moisture to keep them from drying out.  I am not sure that’s what the cause is but seems a possibility. GoBotany says they sometimes have white blooms but nothing about variegation.

It also looks like mine at home are forming buds.  That would be a real treat and if they flower I’ll be sure to share a shot or two. Finding in the wild is the best, but having your own yardies certainly is fun.

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.
This entry was posted in Central Massachusetts, Closeup Photography, Flora, Quabbin, wildflower portrait, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to 09.12.2019 The Lovely Fringed Gentian

  1. Ann Mackay says:

    It might even be damage from water sitting on the flower bud, especially if there’s bright sun. Maybe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I often have an experience like yours, which is to say seeing something happening to a plant and not understanding what process is at work, how normal it is for that species, and whether it’s internal to the plant or the work of an external agent. Taking a photograph is so much easier than understanding what it shows.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Andrew says:

    It looks to me like they are just curling over slightly. I don’t feel it detracts from the overall composition. Almost up to Trillium standard in fact.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Another great lesson from the botany school of the Steves. (TM). Beautiful photograph as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pete Hillman says:

    What a beauty Steve!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bluebrightly says:

    Fringed gentian was another of my mother’s favorites -I believe she used to see them in the Blue Ridge Mtns. I’ve only seen them rarely, last time I think was up on Mt. Rainier. Ahhh!! What is the habitat like where you found this beauty?

    Liked by 1 person

    • For this flower it is a sandy slight slope under a power line in North Quabbin. Lots of other plants, goldenrod, boneset and more. Fairly wet most summers although a bit drier this year. With any luck, I’ll be posting a few more from a controlled environment. I have two plants with several buds in a barrel behind the house.


  7. bluebrightly says:

    And I enjoyed yours and Steve’s dialogue above. Also should tell you – it’s probably not related to the question of white on flowers – but I saw an almost all-white California quail in a flock the other day. Poor guy will have a hard time hiding.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. shoreacres says:

    I would have assumed the petals were nibbled, but I’m used to catching various flower beetles in the act of dining on flowers. The color of these is so rich. I’m not sure I would have called them blue — they’re almost purple to my eye — but the “what color is it, really?” conversation will go on forever.

    One of my favorite flower poems is William Cullen Bryant’s “To The Fringed Gentian.” It starts:

    “Thou blossom bright with autumn dew,
    And colored with the heaven’s own blue,
    That openest when the quiet light
    Succeeds the keen and frosty night.

    Thou comest not when violets lean
    O’er wandering brooks and springs unseen,
    Or columbines, in purple dressed,
    Nod o’er the ground-bird’s hidden nest.

    Thou waitest late and com’st alone,
    When woods are bare and birds are flown,
    And frosts and shortening days portend
    The aged year is near his end…”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bryant’s Homestead is one of the Trustees of Reservations properties near here .I’ve not spent much time there but should and will as soon as we have a foliage change in October.
      It’s a lovely poem but I have to take exception to his description of the light that prods the flowers to open. Quiet light won’t do it…they need strong light, at least a bright overcast but usually full sun. I’ve visited them many times in the morning only to find them closed tight. This was a unique occurrence. All the other were not open.
      I’ve seen them with more blue hue and at other times a stronger purple. It probably is controlled by the weather. I am eagerly awaiting my own gentians to open. The buds are forming so we’ll see soon what color they are.

      Liked by 1 person

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