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Public Domain Picture: Gentner's Fritillary

Courtesy: US Fish & Wildlife Service
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Gentner's Fritillary
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Gentner's Fritillary
Plant description: Fritillaria gentneri is a perennial herb arising from a fleshy bulb, with one to twelve deep red to maroon bell-shaped flowers produced on a single, erect, 40 to 70 centimeter tall flowering stalk. The leaves of reproductive plants occur in whorls along the stalk, while vegetative plants produce a single basal leaf varying in length from 0.5 to 29 centimeters. Most reproduction occurs through asexual production of small 'rice grain' bulblets on the surface of mature bulbs – these detach from the mother bulb and develop into new individuals. In general, the majority of the plants in a population are vegetative (rather than flowering), with numerous basal leaves (each representing one individual bulblet) massed near each flowering stalk. Distinguishing characteristics: Individuals of this species can be distinguished from similar congeners by comparing the nectary gland length/tepal length ratio and the extent of style branching. The nectaries of F. gentneri generally extend ¼ to ½ the length of the tepals, while those of F. recurva extend ¼ or less, and the long glands of F. affinis extend ½ or more of the tepal length. The style of F. affinis is divided for ½ of its length or more, with widely spreading branches, while only the tip (¼ or less) of F. recurva’s style is divided, with erect branches. The style of F. gentneri is intermediate between the two, with somewhat spreading branches extending slightly less than ½ the length of the style. These two characters, when evaluated in combination with flower color (scarlet in F. recurva, maroon in F. gentneri, and purplish-brown in F. affinis ), adequately differentiate these three species. History: This unusual fritillary was first noticed in a flower arrangement by Jacksonville, Oregon, resident Katherine Gentner in the early 1940’s. Katherine’s father, an entomologist at the Southern Oregon Experiment Station, recognized the uniqueness of this beautiful wildflower, and sent a specimen to his friend and associate, Oregon State University botanist Helen Gilkey. Dr. Gilkey subsequently published the description of this new species in the scientific journal Madroño, naming the plant after the Gentner family. Jacksonville’s continuing fondness for Gentner’s fritillary is exemplified by the city’s annual Fritillary Festival, held in late March and early April. (Credit: Melissa Carr/USFWS)(Melissa Carr/USFWS)
Date Added:
April 20, 2014
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US Fish & Wildlife Service

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US Fish & Wildlife Service (Flickr Photostream)
External Site: US Fish & Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is a bureau within the U.S. Department of the Interior. Its mission is to work with others to conserve, protect and enhance fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. USFWS National Digital Library The U.S. Fis
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