Gentner’s fritillary is listed as endangered in the United States and Oregon; recent discoveries of some plants in California have also resulted in a 1B-1 status (Rare in California and elsewhere, seriously threatened) in that state. Normally I wouldn’t provide a fairly exact location listing for a rare species, but given that there is a festival in Jacksonville, Oregon for this Fritillaria, a bit of research online or a question at the Jacksonville Visitor Center will yield potential locations to see the plant. The centre of the range of the species is Jacksonville Cemetery, where these photographs were taken; my understanding is that the range extends in a roughly 30km (18.5mi) circle around this hub. Only about two thousand plants are known to exist in the wild.
Fritillaria gentneri has an interesting story, but instead of repeating it, I’ll direct you to the exceptional resources that exist for this species:
- Gentner’s Fritillary: The Discovery and Protection of a Rare Species (PDF) by Georgie Robinett via Kalmiopsis: The Journal of the Native Plant Society of Oregon (volume 12) provides information about the discovery of Fritillaria gentneri, biographical details of the Gentner family, the disputes as to whether it is a “good species” or simply a hybrid of Fritillaria recurva and Fritillaria affinis, details about the flower morphology and a brief overview of conservation efforts.
- Fritillaria gentneri (PDF) (from the Native Plant Conservation Program of the Oregon Department of Agriculture) provides an excellent factsheet about the species, including description, distinguishing characteristics, and habitat.
- the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Plan for Fritillaria gentneri (PDF) delves into exacting detail about the species.
- the Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) provides a factsheet on Fritillaria gentneri, with emphasis on the taxonomic questions surrounding the species and the ecological requirements. Careful readers of BPotD will note that the Dr. Edward Guerrant contributed to the factsheet (whose research on Delphinium nudicaule was discussed yesterday).
- a few additional photographs of Gentner’s fritillary are available via the Oregon Flora Project.
One note of concern (at the time this was written) regarding the conservation efforts for this species is that the CPC profile for Fritillaria gentneri lists the Berry Botanic Garden as the “primary custodian for this plant in the CPC (US) National Collection of Endangered Plants”. I was very saddened to learn while touring the charming Leach Botanical Garden in Portland that the Berry Botanic Garden is slated to be (and now has) closed.