I came down the Box o' Rox trail and found some Green Gentians, also known as Monument Plant or Elkweed. I don't see these on Green Mountain every year but they're a really interesting plant. They can live for over 60 years and only flower once. For the first 3-4 years they start developing roots without sending up any leaves. As they save up their strength, they produce a rosette of leaves, that is, a group of shiny long (10-12") leaves coming from a central spot. Finally, after years of growth, they have enough energy to produce a flower and it's a cool one. The stalk can be up to 7' tall. The plants I saw today are about 3' tall, but are still growing. The flowers are white and green and have four petals in a distinctive cross shape, with four green pointed sepals between the petals. Interesting plant--I'm really surprised to see it blooming so early.
|Close-up of Green Gentian or Monument Plant|
|These are the Green Gentians along the Box o' Rox Trail on 5/29|