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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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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]

SWERTIA

Perennial (dying after flowering in S. albomarginata , S. fastigiata , S. parryi , S. puberulenta , S. radiata ; non-flower rosettes preceding flower-stems in these species, accompanying flower-stems in others)
Leaves: basal ± petioled; cauline < basal, generally whorled or opposite
Inflorescence: cyme or panicle of dense clusters
Flower: parts in 4's (generally 5's in S. perennis, many species outside CA); calyx fused only near base, lobes lanceolate; corolla rotate, rarely bell-shaped, sometimes with fringed ridges or scales between stamen bases, lobes > tube, sinus appendages 0, nectary pits prominent, 1–2 per lobe, pit margin fringed; ovary sessile, style short, persistent, stigma 2-branched
Species in genus: ± 120 species: temp North America, Eurasia, Africa
Etymology: (E. Sweert, Dutch herbalist, born 1552)
Reference: [St. John 1941 Amer Midl Naturalist 21:1–29]
Frasera sometimes segregated.

Native

S. albicaulis (Griseb.) Kuntze

Plant 1–6.5 dm
Stems 1–few; rosettes several
Leaves narrowly white-margined; basal 4–23 cm, 3–12(20) mm wide, oblanceolate; cauline opposite, upper linear-oblong
Inflorescence dense, interrupted below; pedicels 2–8(30) mm
Flower: calyx 3–7(12) mm; corolla 6–12 mm, with ± 2 mm, triangular to ovate-oblong, ± coarsely jagged scales between stamen bases, greenish white to pale blue, sometimes dark blue-dotted, lobes elliptic-oblong, acute to short-acuminate; nectary pit 1 per corolla lobe, oblong
Ecology: Dry, ± open places
Elevation: 150–2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, n Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Montana, w Nevada
Synonyms: Frasera a. Griseb
Varieties intergrade in CaRH, MP.

Native

var. nitida (Benth.) Jeps.

Sts and leaves glabrous; larger leaves arching, leaf tips acute
Ecology: Dry, open woodlands, chaparral
Elevation: 150–1900 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, n Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to Oregon
Synonyms: Frasera a. var. n. (Benth.) C.L. Hitchc
Horticultural information: TRY.

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