I’ve mentioned before on this weblog that my interest in plants began with my parents and family. One memory that I recall in particular is my mother taking me to see a patch a roadside gentians near our home. It was something special, made moreso because I’ve never noted gentians to be particularly abundant anywhere I’ve travelled (I’ve not been to the mountains of Europe and Asia Minor). Then again, perhaps it is precious to me because I’ve not been able to see the patch since; the landowner nearby began to dump his lawn clippings (full with spruce needles) in the ditch where they once grew. In any case, thanks Jim for eliciting the memory.
Crested gentian is a member of the Gentianaceae, a family with a near-cosmopolitan distribution. Although this plant family is perhaps associated by gardeners in temperate climates with Europe and North America (due to the horticultural popularity of the genera Gentiana, Swertia and Eustoma), its centre of biodiversity is in Central and South America (source: Gentian Research Network).