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King Gentian

King Gentian, Vancouver Island, BC
King Gentian, Vancouver Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

This plant is one of my favorite plants, King Gentian is a beautiful flower that grows in bogs, wet meadows and along lake shores at higher elevations on Vancouver Island, Paradise Meadows on Forbidden Plateau is covered in them. The plant may have one too many flowers on stems that are from 10 cm to a meter tall.

The leaves are oblong and occur in 10 to 15 opposite pairs that are distributed up to the stem, with the biggest leaves near the top. The tubular flowers are an awesome blue color that really catches your eye, they are sometimes streaked or spotted with specks of green and are 5 lobed with pleats between the lobes.

The flower gets its name because the flower looks like a scepter, a staff that was, is carried by kings as a symbol of sovereignty, and the common names reflect this, names like Kings Gentian and Kings Scepted Gentian.

Flowers of this plant have folded pleats between the flower lobes, the northern Gentian flower has no pleats but has a white fringe in the throat of the flower. The Blue Gentian flower in Europe is used to make schnapps alcohol.

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