American Columbo; Green Gentian
Frasera caroliniensis / Gentian Family
Virgin Falls State Natural Area, DeRosset, TN
May 31, 2009
I had seen these plants at Virgin Falls when Kenny and I hiked there at the beginning of May. They were in tight bud, nowhere near being ready to bloom. I sent photos of the plants to a botanist friend who told me they were American Columbo. Unfortunately, we were a little late to see them at their peak 4 weeks later. I did manage to find a few late-blooming flowers, such as this one. The plants area HUGE, up to 10 feet tall!
I'm not sure what the fuzzy glands are on each leaf, and my book doesn't tell why they are there either.