The Georgia Botanical Society
to the study and preservation of Georgia's wild, native,
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Fringed Gentian, Gentianopsis crinita
threatened Georgia wildflower needs your help
- Fringed Gentian is extremely rare in North Georgia. It lives in only a few locations in Towns and Union Counties.
- The future of Fringed Gentian in Georgia is threatened by habitat destruction, lack of adequate sunlight, and improper roadside maintenance (mowing, herbicides, and damage by heavy equipment).
- Support management practices where Fringed Gentian occurs that are beneficial to this light-loving plant: control of woody vegetation through timber removal, prescribed burning, or mowing.
- Do not mow where Fringed Gentian occurs from mid-July through January.
- Report occurrences of Fringed Gentian on your property to receive management advice. Note: Landowners are under no legal obligation to report, protect, or manage threatened plants. Landowners are encouraged to participate in Fringed Gentian's protection by allowing monitoring (photos, flower counts) of these wildflowers on their property.
- Discourage flower picking and removal of plants, flowers or seeds.The plants persist only by their seeds.
- As biennial herbs, Fringed Gentians live for two years. They flower only in their second season.
- First-year plants are quite small (ground level and up to 2 inches wide) and lack flowers.
- Second-year plants are 1 to 3 feet tall.
- The flowers are iridescent blue on long stalks. They have four finely fringed petals approximately 2 to 3 inches long.
- The flowering period is from late September to early November. Fruits develop November through January. Seed erminate following a cold season.
- Because the Fringed Gentian only opens in direct sun, it is best spotted on bright sunny days during the peak of flowering.
in shallow, near-neutral soils, in damp, sunny meadows associated with magnesium
rich rock (amphibolite, serpentine).
- Ranges from the southern Appalachian Mountains north into New England and west to Manitoba and Iowa. It is uncommon in much of its range. It is very rare in the Southeast.
The Fringed Gentian's fleeting, exquisite beauty has had the attention of artists and poets for hundreds of years. It has inspired well known 19th century writers such as William Cullen Bryant, Emily Dickinson, and Henry David Thoreau. Fringed Gentian is in the Gentian Family (Gentianaceae), which is known for its medicinal value. The Fringed Gentian potentially has medicinal properties. In 1964, Fringed Gentian was first discovered in North Georgia. It was designated as State Protected (Threatened) in 1992. "It (Fringed Gentian) came very near not being an inhabitant of our latitude, perhaps our globe, at all."
bright with autumn dew,
not when violets lean
late and com'st alone,
thy sweet and quiet eye
that thus, when I shall see
-William Cullen Bryant, 1832
Botanical Garden of Georgia's Plant Conservation Program
Fringed Gentian conservation is a priority project of The Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance, an innovative network of public gardens, government agencies, and environmental organizations committed to preserving Georgia's endangered flora. Formed in 1995, GPCA initiates and coordinates efforts to protect natural habitats and endangered species through biodiversity management and public education. From rigorous scientific research to hands-on stewardship projects with elementary schools, the combined resources, expertise and outreach strategies of GPCA members provide powerful tools for plant conservation in Georgia.
Information maintained by the Georgia Natural Heritage Program, a unit of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Photos by Hugh and Carol Nourse. Flowering plant drawing by Vicky Holifield. First-year plant drawing by Heather Robertson.
Publication date: July 2002, © Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance
For membership information please contact:
Anita Reaves, Membership Chair
of this website (except where otherwise noted) ©2002-2007 Georgia Botanical
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