Alfred Russel Wallace : Alfred Wallace : A. R. Wallace
Russel Wallace : Alfred Russell Wallace (sic)
Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe)
Editor Charles H. Smith's Note: A letter to the Editor printed on page 233
of the 7 September 1889 issue of The Garden. To link directly to this page, connect with: http://people.wku.edu/charles.smith/wallace/S414A.htm
This rare and beautiful British plant is now in flower
on many of the Dorsetshire heaths. Last week I found it very abundant about
two miles from Corfe Castle, some acres of ground being thickly sprinkled
with its large blue flowers. Although the plant generally has but one or
two flowers on a stem, I found many with five or six, and one magnificent
specimen with seven fully opened flowers and four buds. I also found some
very dark and some pale blue varieties, one almost milk-white, and one root
with several stems, all bearing double flowers. This district is evidently
one of the head-quarters of the species, yet its distribution is very erratic,
and you may walk for miles over some of the heaths without finding a specimen,
although there is no apparent difference in the soil or the surrounding vegetation.
Where it grew most luxuriantly was not boggy or even damp, but a rather dry
sandy loam, a fact which may afford a hint for its successful cultivation.
--A. R. W., Parkstone, Dorset.
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