and curl back. Tap seed out and store dry in sealed,
refrigerated containers for up to four years. Stratify for 3 months at 40
degrees for best germination.
Bumblebees are the only pollinators in our area with enough muscle to
open the "bottles." Having opened the blossom they dive in head first and
begin their distinctive vibrational method of pollination. This floral
characteristic excludes smaller insects that are less efficient at
pollination from robbing nectar and pollen from the bumblebees.
The plant is essentially carefree with no known diseases or pests. The
seed in sometimes consumed by pests, but this is inconspicuous. Because the
foliage and roots are bitter-tasting, mammalian herbivores usually don't use
this plant as a food source. However, deer may chomp off the tender tops of
the plants before they have a chance to flower. This can cause the central
stem to form smaller side branches. The seeds are too small to be of much
interest to birds.
Bottle Gentian is native from Maine to New York, and then from New Jersey
to North Carolina along the mountains, and it inhabits wood borders and
stream banks. The Chesapeake Natives populations are from the Broad Run
floodplain in Virginia, and Waldorf, Maryland.