Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday 149: Gentians

During Sunday's walk at Grady Tract/UW Arboretum, we found four of the five species of gentians that bloom on Arboretum prairies: Stiff, Bottle, Downy and Fringed. These beautiful fall flowers bloom late August into October, and range in color from lilac to a deep blue-purple.

Stiff Gentians bloom early September to late October.

Stiff Gentians grow in limestone regions, requiring calcareous soils,
and are found on dry, medium and wet prairies.

Bottle Gentians bloom August to mid-October, in wet-medium
prairies, in sun or partial shade.

Bottle Gentians are pollinated by larger bees and bumblebees -- they have to be
heavy enough to shoulder the front end of their bodies inside, as this gentian
does not open as most flowers do.

Downy Gentians typically flower early September to mid-October.

Downy Gentians remain closed on dark or cloudy days to protect
their nectar and delicate insides, only opening to the sun.

Fringed Gentians are my favorite,
and one of the rarer due to habitat loss.

Fringed Gentians bloom mid-August to October, in wet prairies,
marshes and sedge meadows. They may be abundant one year,
and non-existant the next.

Beautiful Fringed Gentian and two buds.


Wordless Wednesday


Claire said...

What gorgeous flowers! They look too delicate to be autumn flowers...
Great photos :)

Anonymous said...

Every photo looks stunning. =) #ww

StarTraci said...

Beautiful flowers! What wonderful color for fall.

Heather said...

Claire: Thank you -- and if you think these look delicate, you should see the asters!

Pixiedusk: Thank you! ☺

StarTraci: Aren't they a wonderful splash of color?

Kristin Aquariann said...

Fabulous flowers! Each species has its own character.

Heather said...

Thanks, Kristin!

colleen said...

I've seen them here but never knew what they were. Love the color.

Unknown said...

Gorgeous flowers! I've seen them here too.

Heather said...

Colleen: I'm glad you now know what these flowers are called!

Heather said...

Gunilla: Thank you! ☺

Novroz said...

Beautiful flowers

Heather said...

Thank you! ☺

NCSue said...

Such lovely flowers!!!
Please come share at http://www.image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2014/09/elodie-farms.html

Heather said...

Thanks, Sue! ☺

Anonymous said...

Lovely flowers.

Heather said...

charuhasacharya: Thank you, and thanks for visiting!

Jana said...


Heather said...

Jana: I thought you might like. ☺