The only fragrant gentian I know of

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Kelaidis's picture
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Joined: 2010-02-03
The only fragrant gentian I know of

Hate dangling particles...oh well.

Gentianopsis barbellata is pretty widespread in the West, although I have only seen it in Colorado where it is nowhere abundant (except the autumn of 1967 when I saw hundreds and thousands on top of Weston Pass). For a long time I thought it was the only perennial Gentianopsis, but then I saw one in Mongolia that seemed perennial as well. One usually finds this in scattered clumps that definitely suggest that it runs very slightly.

What really makes it special is its very sweet, spicy smell. I have read it is the only fragrant gentian. I have germinated seed but never brought it to bloom.

This is a scan of a slide and not quite as vibrant in color as it deserves, but shows the neat trim habit of the plant--only a few inches tall.