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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

GENTIANACEAE

GENTIAN FAMILY

James S. Pringle (except as specified)

Annual, perennial herb
Stem decumbent to erect, < 2 m
Leaves simple, cauline (sometimes also basal), opposite or whorled, entire, sessile or basal ± petioled; stipules 0
Flower bisexual, radial, parts in 4's or 5's, except pistil 1; sepals fused, persistent; petals fused, persistent or deciduous, corolla generally without fringes or scales on inner surface, sinuses between lobes generally unappendaged; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes; ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas parietal, often intruding
Fruit: capsule, 2-valved
Seeds many
Genera in family: ± 80 genera, 900 species: worldwide; some cultivated (Eustoma , Exacum , Gentiana )
Reference: [Wood & Weaver 1982 J Arnold Arbor 63:441–487]

GENTIANA

GENTIAN

Annual, perennial herb, generally glabrous
Stem generally simple below inflorescence
Leaves cauline, opposite (sometimes also basal)
Inflorescence: compact cyme or flowers solitary
Flower parts in 4's or 5's; calyx tube obvious; corolla tube narrowly bell-shaped, lobes spreading, < tube, scales 0, sinuses between lobes ± truncate, unappendaged or generally with a variously shaped, sometimes fringed appendage, nectary pits 0 (nectaries on ovary stalk); ovary stalked, style short or indistinct, stigma 2-branched
Species in genus: ± 300 species: temp to subarctic and alpine Am, Eurasia
Etymology: (Gentius, king of ancient Illyria, who might have found medicinal value in the plants)

Native

G. affinis Griseb. var. ovata A. Gray

Perennial
Stems from caudex, decumbent to erect, several–many, 5–70 cm, puberulent
Leaves: basal ± 0; cauline many, 10–45 mm, 4–20 mm wide, minutely ciliate, lower < internodes, elliptic to ovate, upper > internodes, ovate to lanceolate, ± acute
Inflorescences terminal and generally also at 1–6 upper nodes; flowers 1–several per inflorescence
Flower: calyx 5–23 mm, lobes linear to narrowly elliptic (sometimes some vestigial), generally < 1.5 mm wide, acute, minutely ciliate; corolla (12)25–45 mm, blue, rarely white, lobes generally < 7 mm, oblong-ovate, abruptly pointed, sinus appendages divided ± to base into 2 triangular parts, each thread-like only toward tip
Seed winged
Chromosomes: 2n=26
Ecology: Meadows, shrubby places
Elevation: 0–2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, Warner Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Oregon
Synonyms: G. oregana A. Gray, at least as applied to CA plants
Var. parvidentata Kusn. may be applied to plants with some or all calyx lobes small or vestigial; some plants in n CA approach var. affinis of Rocky Mtns
Horticultural information: IRR: 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 16, 17 &SHD: 14, 15; DFCLT.

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