Sunday, September 5, 2010

Bottle Gentians

Last year, our first summer on the farm, we were  excited to discover this wildflower -creamy bottle gentian- growing in our prairie. We have been watching for it this year. This afternoon, Rog mowed a walking path through the tall grass and  goldenrod, and found it blooming. Not only that, 
there were dozens of  blue bottle gentian plants
 and some white flowers variegated to pink! 
Bottle gentians are also called "closed gentian" because the  petals don't open.
Bumble bees are reported to be the only insect that is strong enough to force open the  petals of this flower to get inside and pollinate it.  I came across a fun video of a bottle gentian flower being pollinated by a bumblebee.  

Our prairie is overrun with so many invasive species, it tickles me to  find a beautiful native flower like this growing out there. I wonder if burning the prairie last spring helped the bottle gentian flourish this year?

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