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Bottle Gentian Flowering

9-10-13 bottle gentian IMG_8093Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii, is one of our latest blooming wildflowers, and one of our most beautiful. Because its petals are closed so tightly, only bumblebees (pictured) and a few other insects have the strength to push their way inside the flower to reach Bottle Gentian’s sugar-laden nectar.

Like many other flowers, Bottle Gentian times the maturation of its reproductive parts to discourage self-pollination. Male pollen-bearing stamens mature first, and by the time the female pistil is mature, the stamens have gone by so the flower’s pistil can’t receive its own pollen (see central pistil surrounded by withered stamens in insert).

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5 responses

  1. Louise Garfield

    Can you supply an address to which I can mail a donation check?


    September 10, 2013 at 12:41 pm

  2. Kathie Fiveash

    That must mean that different gentians mature at different times so that when a bumblebee shoulders in and gets pollen from mature anthers, it can go to the next flower and pollinate a mature ovary?

    September 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

  3. i love your cross-section of the bloom

    September 14, 2013 at 11:20 am

    • Thank you, mj. It just about killed me to slice it open, but I did it in the name of education…glad to have it appreciated!

      September 14, 2013 at 1:16 pm

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