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NC Native Plant Society:
Plant Details

Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]

American Columbo, Yellow Gentian

Scientific Name:

Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]

Genus:

Frasera

Species Epithet:

caroliniensis

Common Name:

American Columbo, Yellow Gentian

Plant Type

Herb/Wildflower

Plant Family

Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Native/Alien:

NC Native

Invasive Status:

(*Key)

Size:

0-1 ft., 6-12 ft.

Bloom Color(s):

White, Yellow, Green

Light:

Part Shade - 2 to 6 hours of sun per day, Less than 2 hours of sun per day

Soil Moisture:

Moist, Wet

Bloom Time:

May, June, July

Growing Area:

Mountains

Habitat Description:

Rich forests and woodlands over mafic or calcareous rocks, upper slopes of cove forests, floodplain forests. Limited to the southwestern corner of the state mainly in Clay and Macon counties where it is uncommon to locally numerous.

Leaf Arrangement:

Whorled, Basal

Leaf Retention:

Deciduous

Leaf Type:

Leaves veined, not needle-like or scale-like

Leaf Form:

Simple

Wildlife Value:

Important for Wildlife

Landscape Value:

Not Recommended for home landscapes

State Rank:

S2: Imperiled, S3: Vulnerable (*Key)

Global Rank:

G5 - Secure (*Key)

State Status:

SR-P: Significantly Rare: Peripheral (*Key)

Very large, thick, and shiny basal leaves

Macon County, NC

The Scientific Name is Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]. You will likely hear them called American Columbo, Yellow Gentian. This picture shows the Very large, thick, and shiny basal leaves of Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]

Bettina Darveaux

A typical plant exists exclusively as a basal rosette for several years before finally sending up a flowering stalk, after which it dies.

Macon County, NC

The Scientific Name is Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]. You will likely hear them called American Columbo, Yellow Gentian. This picture shows the A typical plant exists exclusively as a basal rosette for several years before finally sending up a flowering stalk, after which it dies.  of Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]

Bettina Darveaux

Flowering stem is erect, to 2.5 m, thick, hollow, glabrous, green to purplish. There are several whorls of stem leaves that get progressively smaller up the stem.

Macon County, NC

The Scientific Name is Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]. You will likely hear them called American Columbo, Yellow Gentian. This picture shows the Flowering stem is erect, to 2.5 m, thick, hollow, glabrous, green to purplish. There are several whorls of stem leaves that get progressively smaller up the stem.  of Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]

Bettina Darveaux

The inflorescence is a large, conic or conic-elliptic, highly branched panicle consisting of numerous smaller, mostly axillary panicles. Each flower consists of 4 (to rarely 5) dull yellow-white to greenish-white petals, each with purple spotting and a large green gland at the base.

Macon County, NC

The Scientific Name is Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]. You will likely hear them called American Columbo, Yellow Gentian. This picture shows the The inflorescence is a large, conic or conic-elliptic, highly branched panicle consisting of numerous smaller, mostly axillary panicles. Each flower consists of 4 (to rarely 5) dull yellow-white to greenish-white petals, each with purple spotting and a large green gland at the base.  of Frasera caroliniensis [=Swertia caroliniensis]

Bettina Darveaux

Links:

USDA PLANTS Database Record



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