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Greater Fringed Gentian


Common Name: Greater Fringed Gentian

Latin Name: Gentianopsis crinita [Pronounced: "jentch-eon-OPP-siss  crinn-EYE-ta "]

Type of Plant: Annual or Biennial Forb

Identification Helps: When in bloom, this stunningly beautiful flower is difficult to misidentify. The imposing blue flowers, with their flaring petals and fringes, reveal this plant. It is generally between 1 and 2 ft tall, sometimes up to 3 ft.

Preferred Growing Conditions in the Wild:   Fringed Gentians grow in wet, alkaline prairie conditions, often among taller grasses and  forbs.

Preferred Soils: Found only in wet, alkaline soils.

Seasons of Growth and Bloom: Blooms in September and October in Ohio.

Natural Distribution in Ohio: Found in only 10 Ohio counties, and not always on prairies. The alkaline wet soils of Lucas and Erie County prairies support this plant.

Description and General Information: There are several prairie gentians. This is the most common species in Ohio, although still rare and local. It is a wetland prairie species, and is short-lived, usually as a biennial, occasionally as an annual. It is one of the most beautiful of Ohio prairie plants, but cannot be successfully planted or grown except in the restricted wet, alkaline soils it grows in naturally.