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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.


Annual to perennial herb, generally glabrous. Stem: generally simple below inflorescence. Leaf: cauline, opposite (also basal or not). Inflorescence: compact cyme or flowers 1. Flower: parts generally in 5s (generally in 4s in Gentiana prostrata, 4s or 5s in Gentiana fremontii); calyx tube generally > lobes; corolla tube narrow-bell-shaped, lobes spreading, < tube, base of sinus between lobes truncate or generally with a variously shaped, sometimes fringed appendage, nectary pits 0 (nectaries on ovary stalk); ovary stalked, style ± 0 or short, entire, persistent, stigmas 2.
± 400 species: temperate to subarctic, alpine America, Eurasia. (Gentius, king of Illyria, who used roots to treat malaria)

Key to Gentiana

1. Annual, biennial; stem < 1 dm, leaf < 15 mm, flower < 2 cm (sect. Chondrophyllae)

2. Basal, cauline leaves not alike, upper cauline strongly ascending, much narrower than basal, margins of all leaves white; corolla white to pale blue, abaxially often dark blue ..... G. fremontii

2' Basal, cauline leaves ± alike, ± spreading, margins not or ± white; corolla medium to deep blue ..... G. prostrata

1' Perennial herb; stem generally > 1 dm; leaf > 15 mm; flower > 2 cm (sect. Pneumonanthe)

3. Stems arising laterally from caudex, below rosettes

4. Stems 20–45 cm; internodes > middle, upper cauline leaves; corolla sinus appendages divided into 2–3 thread-like, entire segments ..... G. setigera

4' Stems 0.5–10(35) cm; internodes generally < cauline leaves; corolla sinus appendages divided into 2 triangular, ± serrate to jagged-cut parts tapered to thread-like tips ..... G. newberryi

5. Corolla generally medium to deep blue ..... var. newberryi

5' Corolla white to pale blue, abaxially dark brown-purple on, below lobes ..... var. tiogana

3' Stems arising terminally from caudex, without rosettes

6. Sinus between corolla lobes ± unappendaged ..... G. sceptrum

6' Sinus between corolla lobes with a conspicuous toothed or fringed appendage

7. Corolla sinus appendages divided ± to base into 2–several thread-like parts; leaf-base sheaths at mid-stem generally > 5 mm ..... G. plurisetosa

7' Corolla sinus appendages divided into generally 2 parts, each thread-like only toward tip; leaf-base sheaths at mid-stem generally < 5 mm

8. Leaf, calyx-lobe margins ± entire, minutely ciliate; calyx lobes generally < 1.5 mm wide; corolla lobes generally < 7 mm; inflorescences terminal, generally also at 1–6 upper nodes, flowers 1–7 ..... G. affinis var. ovata

8' Leaf, calyx-lobe margins generally obscurely, minutely dentate, not ciliate; calyx lobes generally > 2 mm wide; corolla lobes 5.5–13 mm; inflorescences generally terminal, also at 1–3 upper nodes or not, flowers 1–few ..... G. calycosa


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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