4.19.24 ~ North Carolina Botanical Garden

The folks at the botanical garden are very excited because one of the American Columbos they planted 19 years ago is looking like it might flower this year! This flowering stalk (above), also known as yellow gentian, is about 2 feet tall and it could grow to between 3 and 8 feet tall.

After spending 19 years in our Mountain Habitat as an unassuming rosette of leaves near the ground, one of our American columbos is about to put out a spectacular flowering stalk for the first and only time. Then, after reproducing, it will die.
~ NC Botanical Garden Facebook page

will it flower???
a rosette of America columbo leaves on the ground ~
apparently this one not going to be flowering this year

We also enjoyed the presence of other plants and trees, already blooming…

fringe tree blossoms
northern sundial lupine
sandhills bluestar
wild azalea
white-throated sparrow

A nice, quiet and cloudy late morning in the garden. We were a couple of hours later than usual and there seemed to be fewer birds out and about.

20 thoughts on “anticipation”

    1. We checked back yesterday and the stalk hadn’t changed much. We go at least once a week and check the website every day so I hope we don’t miss it! 🀞

  1. Very interesting life cycle and event happening! Hoping you will place it on your list to go back to visit and photograph as it in its different forms. The process may take a few months.

    Fun to see the white-throated sparrow again with its magnificent yellow eye brows!!

    1. We checked back yesterday (a week later) and the stalk hadn’t changed much. Will post any changes we see, but I think you’re right, it may take months! Locals keep saying the white-throated sparrows should be headed north soon so I’m enjoying them as long as they linger. πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you, Eliza! We go at least once a week so we should be able to catch the bloom. A garden curator planted these in 2005, they were grown from seeds collected in 1993 from the home garden of the first director of the botanical garden. πŸ™‚

  2. So do you mean the whole plant will die after it blooms, Barbara? That’s quite extreme – it will have to be quite a spectacular flower, so I hope you have the opportunity to see it and take photos.

    1. Yes! It makes me think of cicadas and other insects which reproduce and die. It leaves behind seeds. A new plant it may live for up to 30 years, like the rosette in the third picture, before flowering. We visit the garden weekly so I’m hoping we get to see and photograph the flowers, too.

  3. At least the white-throated sparrow was there to greet you. πŸ™‚ That’s amazing that this plant will die after waiting that long to flower … we thought the corpse flower blooming every few years was short-lived!

    1. Yes, I was so happy to see the white-throated sparrow, especially since they’re supposed to be heading north to breed by now. πŸ™‚ At least the corpse flower doesn’t die after it finishes blooming! I bet they’ll be saving the seeds from the columbo.

      1. You were lucky – maybe the white-throated sparrows heard about our cold spell. This morning it was 58 degrees; Thursday it was 28 degrees. They said “put your hummingbird feeders out April 15th” but we had a frost advisory several days this week.

        1. You’re probably right about that! Maybe the above normal temps this coming week will finally send the white-throated sparrows up your way. I hope those crazy frost advisories will soon disappear from your forecasts and you and the birds can really start enjoying the weather.

          1. Well now we have hummingbird weather Barbara! It got to 80 today and yesterday and was very humid. I think we bypassed the rest of Spring. Now I’m complaining it got too hot, too soon!

    1. We try to go back at least once a week so I plan to get some photos! It’s amazing having a botanical garden so close to home.

A box for your thoughts...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.