Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Flower for the Day Alpine Gentian Greenland

The rare alpine gentian (Gentians nivalis) presents as a distinct ultramarine blue in a narrow tube culminating in a wheel shaped 5 lobed corolla. This image shows all stages. The flowers open up only in full sun and close even with overcast conditions. These are annuals that return by re-seeding only.
Studies of alpine (snow) gentian seeds in a community seed bank showed that the half life of experimentally buried seeds 
was 15-32 years depending on the depth of burial and soil type. This suggests why alpine gentian numbers can recover
quickly after a population crash and bodes well for their continued long term survival despite their scarcity.
It is certainly an unforgettable color and my favorite of this polar series.

This is the last of the Greenland flowers. I enjoyed identifying them.

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