Gentiana acaulis

Named for King Gentuis of Illyria who was reputed to have discovered the medicinal virtues of the yellow gentian or bitterwort root. Acau’lis pertaining to stemless or with very short stems; Gentiana acaulis is commonly known as the Trumpet Gentian. Native to acid grasslands, stony areas and bogs; this alpine beauty is best known for its deep blue, trumpet shaped flower that adorns green spots within. The calyx lobes are ovate while spreading at the tips followed by solitary and erect stems. Bloom time is starting in March and carries on through May. Foliage is mat to low hemlock-forming with leaves usually lanceolate to elliptic, sometimes ovate. Gentiana acaulis is interesting to me because of the green spots it has on the inside of its petals.

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Corydalis nobilis

Native to Siberia, Xinjiang and Kazakhstan; Corydalis is the Greek meaning for lark because flowers have spurs like those of larks. No’bilis refers to notable, famous, renowned or excellent. More commonly it is know as the Siberian Corydalis and can be found on stony mountain cliffs, rocky outcrops and within the woods. Its flowers are compact cymose, yellow or orange with inter petals having dark violet tips. Individual flowers represent small Snapdragons. Foliage are pinnately arranged leaves and spreads by Myrmecochory (seed dispersal by ants.) It was accidentally introduced to Europe by Linnaeus whos friend aka Mann sent over the wrong seed.

Draba longisiliqua

The Long-Podded Whitlow Grass is native to Caucasus and thrives on limestone cliffs. It is free flowering, 5-8 centimeters long with bright yellow short dense racemes. The foliage is low growing and mounded, forming a cushion of small hairy grey green leaves. Draba longisiliqua is an evergreen perinneal best cultivated from seed or by division.

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Rochester’

Witch Hazel is native to East Asia and North America. Hamamelis is the Greek name for a plant with pear shaped fruit, intermedia meaning intermediate in color, form or habit. ‘Rochester’ is a hybrid that originated around 1960 at Durand Eastman Park in Rochester, New York. It can typically be found in woodlands with copper-orange flowers. They are auxiliary clusters with four narrow, ribbon like petals that’s red at the calyx and the base. Leaves are rounded ovate, mature grey-green and turn yellow in the fall. It has extrememly fragrant flowers and blooms from February into April. Hamamelis belongs to the Hamamelidaceae family, just like the Loropetalum chinense f.rubrum. 

Crocus scepusiensis

Crocus meaning saffron, derived from semitic karkom, one of the most ancient plant names. Saffron crocus is widely grown for stigmas used as yellow dye and for cookery. Crocus scepusiensis is naive to Western and Central Europe, commonly known as the spring crocus. It can be located in meadows and mountains, easily spotted for its lilac, purple or striped flowers. Throat is white or purple with ring of hairs where filaments join tube and blooms from March to June. Leaves are wide, either fully or partially developed at time of flowering. Crocus is a member of the Iridaceae family.

Euryops pectinatus

Native to South Africa, Euryops has an unknown derivation due to it being so large while pectinatus means “comblike.” More commonly it is known as the Yellow Daisy Bush and is found in moutainous areas. The flowers are yellow and Daisy-like, narrowly capulate and triangular while being connate at the base. They are oblanceolate ray florets that bloom from early spring into autumn. Foliage is pinnately lobed above while the base is attenuate, opposite to alternate, linear and obtuse, grey-tomentose (tiny hairs.) I was surprised to find Euryops pectinatus in the Asteraceae family compared to other genus within the family.

Centaurea montana

Native to the European mountains, Turkey and Mediterranean area. Centaura meaning knapweed or bachelors button and montana pertaining to the mountains; commonly known as Mountaian Bluet. Native habitats include mountains (of coarse) meadows and roadsides while spreading by creeping rhizomes. The flowers are involucre, ovoid-cylindric with a phyllary appendage. It is recurrent near the base, minutely dentate to fimbrate with inner violet florets. Leaves are ovate, entire, soft and patent, and floccose-tomentose beneath at first. Centaura montana belongs to the Asteraceae family.