Sep. 19, 2019

harvestbells, Gentiana saponaria

Thank you, Denise! The third year of looking for harvestbells (great name!) or soapwort gentians (not as cool) paid off. This time Denise was very kind and showed me where. It did turn out that I was not quite in the right spot before. These flowers are about an inch and a half long, and this is as open as they get. The bumbles that pollinate force the top open to get at the pollen and nectar. As pollination syndromes go, it seems awkward at best. But apparently the large bees like it. There are quite a few species in the closed gentian group. Harvestbells can be seen, if you're persistent, in damp prairies or oak savannas in AL, AR, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MI(X), MS, NC, NJ, NY(E), OH(E), OK, PA(E), SC, TN, TX, VA, and WV. Oak Openings Metropark, Lucas Co OH, 9/17/19.