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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. sceptrum Griseb.

Perennial
Stems from caudex, decumbent to erect, 1–several, 5–90 cm
Leaves: basal ± 0; cauline many, 10–55(70) mm, 5–18 mm wide, elliptic to narrowly ovate, lower ± crowded, upper < internodes, tip obtuse to acute
Inflorescence: flowers 1–few
Flower: calyx 15–27 mm, lobes elliptic-ovate, rarely ± leaf-like, not ciliate, acute; corolla 35–50 mm, blue, lobes 5–10 mm, ovate-oblong to ± round, abruptly pointed, sinuses ± truncate, ± unappendaged
Seed winged toward ends
Chromosomes: 2n=26
Ecology: Bogs, wet meadows
Elevation: 0–1200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia
Horticultural information: WET, DRN: 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17; DFCLT.

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