The U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory will close at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 6, due to an official government function. The Conservatory will return to normal hours December 7.
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.