Gentianopsis crinita

English name(s):
greater fringed gentian,
fringed gentian
Family:  Gentianaceae
Description:
Nature graced this late summer to fall blooming native biennial with such etheral beauty. The color blue of the four petals coupled with their delicately textured fringes makes one pause when encountering the plant in the wild. The temperment of the flowers is specific: open during sunny days and remaining closed on cloudy. Many a poet has been inspired by the grace of this plant in nature.
Habitat:
sunny, moist meadows and open woods and an Ohio shoreline bluff
Notes:
Several references have attributed Gentian as being named after King Gentius of Illyria. Some references further credited him for discovering the medicinal qualities of the roots or specifically the medicinal properties of G. lutea.
Additional notes:
syn. Gentiana crinita Froel.


photograph courtesy of Ami Horowitz

field trip archive:  Aurora Sanctuary 2013

state of Ohio:  county distribution map

status list by family:  Rare Native Ohio Plants

status list by index:  Rare Native Ohio Plants

Plant identification
The Ohio State University Herbarium:
Ashtabula County, 12 September 1977, collector:  Allison W. Cusick  voucher specimen
view additional voucher specimens and related information

Newcomb's:  Key Group no. 442, p. 156. Gentiana crinita

Historical description:
Fieldbook of Illinois Wild Flowers, 1936. p. 236:
"The rare beauty of the sky-blue flowers makes the plant much sought for by thoughtless people, who do not understand that picking the flowers may destroy it. Its range is from central Maine and Quebec, south to Georgia, Ohio and Iowa. The plant blooms in late summer and autumn. It is not a perennial and must therefore depend upon seed for its perpetuation."

 
 USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 9.

USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / Britton, N.L., and A. Brown. 1913. An illustrated flora of the northern United States, Canada and the British Possessions. 3 vols. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. Vol. 3: 9.

.... Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look Through fringed lids to heaven,
And the pale aster in the brook
Shall see its image given;-- ....

John Greenleaf Whittier
My Psalm, 1859

To the Fringed Gentian

THOU blossom bright
with autumn dew,
And coloured 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.
Then doth thy sweet and quiet eye
Look through its fringes to the sky,
Blue—blue—as if that sky let fall
A flower from its cerulean wall. ...

William Cullen Bryant
Poems, 1847  


virtual herbarium sheet 000006
 created by Lisa K. SchlaG, 19.iii.2014