Soapwort gentian or harvest bells

Plant Botanical Name: 
Gentiana saponaria
Plant Threat Level: 
Endangered

Soapwort gentians are native along the east coast from Florida to Massachusetts, west to the Great Lakes and south to Texas. Although widely dispersed, they are now extinct in Michigan and endangered in Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. Development, fire suppression and use of herbicides continue to endanger gentians. Gentiana saponaria are most often found in moist acidic woodland slopes, roadside ditches and moist meadows. The beautiful blue flower heralds the end of the flowering season (and harvest season), just before its leaves turn red and gold.