Gentianopsis crinita (Froel.) Ma
Greater Fringed Gentian, Fringed Gentian
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)
Synonym(s): Anthopogon crinitum, Gentiana crinita, Gentiana ventricosa, Gentianella crinita, Gentianella crinita ssp. nevadensis
USDA Symbol: gecr2
Greater fringed-gentian is a beautiful, autumn-flowering plant, 8-30 in. tall, often branched above. Showy, blue flowers have four spreading petals that are fringed at the end and part way down the sides. A single, blue, fringed flower, opening in the sun and closing at night, is at the end of each erect stem of a branching plant. The petals are twisted together when the flower is closed.
One of the most beautiful of the gentians, with its delicately fringed petals and striking blue color, it is becoming rare and must not be picked. It is a biennial, and along with the other gentians, is among the last wildflowers to bloom in the late summer and fall. The Smaller Fringed Gentian (G. virgata) is similar but has narrow leaves, a shorter fringe, and is only 6-18 inches (15-45 cm) high. It occurs in midwestern, boggy prairies and limy areas. Both the common and generic names of this group come from that of King Gentius of Illyria, who, according to the Ancient Roman naturalist Pliny, discovered the medicinal qualities of the roots for use as an emetic, cathartic, and tonic.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Native Distribution: S. ME to MD & mts. of GA, w. to Man. & IA
Native Habitat: Moist, limey woods; meadows; stream banks
Growing ConditionsLight Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, limey soils.
Conditions Comments: To form a colony, seedlings must be set out two consecutive years. If the plants are given the proper conditions they will self-sow.
PropagationDescription: Seeds must be sown as soon as ripe as they lose viability quickly. Scratch seeds onto the soil. Plants grow very little the first year, but with care they will mature, bloom, set seed and die, completing their life cycle, the second year.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Late Oct. through Nov. Seeds can be allowed to dry out before sowing.
Seed Treatment: This species requires or benefits from a three month period of cold moist stratification in the refrigerator.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
BibliographyBibref 946 - Gardening with Prairie Plants: How to Create Beautiful Native Landscapes (2002) Wasowski, Sally
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Web ReferenceWebref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Gentianopsis crinita in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gentianopsis crinita in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gentianopsis crinita
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-13
Research By: TWC Staff