Dark Light
Soapwort Gentian
Gentiana saponaria

Supposedly this is an uncommon wildflower to encounter! It took me a while to identify it, not knowing that it’s flowers typically remain relatively closed as in the photo.

It turns out the flowers remain closed so that most pollinators are unable to access the nectar and pollen. Except bumblebees which are strong enough to get down in there. This benefits the plant, because it then doesn’t waste it’s resources (pollen and nectar) on less efficient pollinators.

Alternate Names: Harvestbells
Size: 8-20" tall
Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)
Habitat: Moist woodland margins, near creeks and ponds or land depressions, in partial shade.
Identification: "Harvestbells or soapwort gentian, a perennial, grows 8-20 in. tall, having light-green, opposite, lance-shade leaves on slender stems. The blue-violet flowers are bottle-shaped, opening only partly, and occur in terminal or axillary clusters". From wildflower.org  Blooms August-October

All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
Related Posts

Snake Root

Another plant named after the illustrious snake...however THIS one is definitely more dangerous to ruminants and humans alike!
Arrowleaf violet purple flower

Arrowleaf Violet

Similar to your common violet, the Arrowleaf is distinguished because of it's notable hastate leaves that resemble the shape of an arrowhead.