Climbing Bartonia

Climbing_Bartonia_jpgThe Gentianaceae family commonly called the Gentain family is composed of 74 genera and 1,200 species of herbs and a few shrubs and small trees; found primarily in temperate and subtropical regions. Gentius, King of Illyria (ancient country approximately where Greece is today) in the second century B.C. supposedly discovered the medicinal properties of Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea). Plants in the genus Bartonia are named for B. S. Barton (1766-1815), a botanist from Philadelphia. Other members of this family (Gentianaceae) are in the genus Sabatia.  It has been reported that the inhabitants of Plymouth, Massachusetts were convinced that the Pilgrims of 1620 named a plant in this genus Marsh Pink “Sabatia” after the Sabbath, the holy day on which they first saw the flower, and that “strong objections are made if any other flowers are irreverently mingled with it in church decorations.”

OtherCommonName:

Twining Bartonia, Screw Stem

ScientificName:

Bartonia paniculata

Community:

Freshwater Wetlands

PlantStatus:

Native

LifeSpan:

Annual or Biannual

PlantHeight:

4 to 16 inches twining

FruitingTime:

September to late October

Distribution:

Newfoundland to Florida ~ Throughout Pine Barrens and Coastal Strip in New Jersey

FloweringTime:

Late August to October

IdentifyingCharacteristics:

Stem spiral, twining, green to yellowish or purplish ~ Flowers numerous ~ Leaves mostly alternate