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The Gentians

by Richo Cech

The root of gentian stimulates the salivary glands and the digestion, while the flowers of this fantastic plant have long excited the gardener and the alpine hiker. The genus Gentiana is extremely diverse, represented by over 200 distinct species worldwide. The plants are distributed globally, mainly occurring in alpine regions. In North America there are 33 recognized species. These include such diverse plants as alpine gentian (G. newberryi), a pale blue flowered, mat-forming plant growing at altitudes up to 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) in the Sierra Nevada of the western states, and the wiregrass gentian (G. pennelliana) that is endemic to Florida and is listed as an endangered species. Despite the wide distribution of gentian as a whole, the individual species do not tend to migrate, but rather stay put in specific ecological niches where conditions are perfectly to their liking. This specificity of conditions (elevation, sun, soil and moisture) makes domestication of wild gentians very challenging.

Read the original article at: United Plant Savers

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