My Year of the Gentians (part 1)

Earlier this year I was thrilled to spot my first gentian family species, pennywort (Obolaria virginica), at Rachel Carson Conservation Park. Then last week, I found three more gentian family species, one at Serpentine Barrens Conservation Park, and the other two in Colorado. More on those in the next two posts.


rosepink, bitterbloom,
rose gentian,
American centaury
Sabatia angularis


Of the nineteen or so species of Sabatia native to the US, five can be found in Maryland. Of those five, only this one is widespread across the state; the other four are mostly limited to the coastal plain. Two of those are listed as S1/endangered.

Rosepink is a biennial, growing a basal rosette of leaves in its first year and sending up a flowering stalk in its second. The plant reaches to a height of about two and a half feet, with flowers up to an inch and a half across open from July through September. Look for rosepink in meadows and woodland clearings with moist to dry, acidic soils. The two specimens I found were sheltering under the outermost edges of an eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) in a power line right-of-way.


This species ranges from Ontario south into northern Florida, east to New York (with some occurrences in Massachusetts and Connecticut), and southwest into eastern Texas and Oklahoma. It’s threatened in Michigan and endangered in New York.



1 thought on “My Year of the Gentians (part 1)

  1. Pingback: Happy New Year! | Elizabeth's Wildflower Blog

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