Grass of Parnassus

Grass of Parnassus

About Grass of Parnassus

The genus Parnassia, also known as Grass of Parnassus or bog-stars, are plants in the family Celastraceae. The plants occur in arctic and alpine habitats, as well as in dune systems and fens, swamps, wet meadows, open seepage areas, moist woods, and across the Northern Hemisphere. It is actually not a grass, but an herbaceous dicot. The stalk of the plant can reach up to 8 inches (200 mm), the leaves up to 4 inches (100 mm) and the petals can be up to 1.4 inches (36 mm) wide. The flower has five white petals with light green venation. There are five three-pronged sterile stamens, each tipped with drop-like, false nectaries, which (along with the visual cue of veins) attract pollinating flies and bees. The flower blooms in late summer, around July, and into October. The species is often found in wet calcareous habitats with low fertility, low canopy cover, and high plant diversity. Parnassia glauca is considered to be an indicator species of fens.

Contributions by Stemonitis, Timholland, and Innotata.