Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Gentiana calycosa

Higher Taxonomy
Family: GentianaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb [to trees]. Stem: decumbent to erect, < 2 m, simple or branched. Leaf: simple, cauline, sometimes also basal, opposite or whorled, entire, sessile or basal +- petioled; stipules 0. Flower: bisexual, radial, parts in 4s or 5s except pistil 1; sepals fused, persistent; petals fused, +- persistent, sinus between lobes often unappendaged; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes; ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas parietal, often intruding, stigmas 1--2. Fruit: capsule, 2-valved. Seed: many.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, 1800 species: worldwide; some cultivated (Eustoma, Exacum, Gentiana). Note: Gentianella tenella moved to Comastoma. Key to genera revised by Bruce G. Baldwin.
eFlora Treatment Author: James S. Pringle, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: GentianaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: GENTIAN
Habit: 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.
Species In Genus: +- 400 species: temperate to subarctic, alpine America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Gentius, king of Illyria, who used roots to treat malaria)
Gentiana calycosa Griseb.
Habit: Perennial herb. Stem: from caudex, +- decumbent, 2--many, 5--45 cm. Leaf: basal 0; cauline many, +- even-spaced, generally > internodes, 8--50 mm, 6--30 mm wide, ovate to +- round, obtuse to acute, obscurely, minutely dentate, not ciliate. Inflorescence: generally terminal; flowers 1--few, also 1--2 at 1--3 upper nodes or not. Flower: calyx 10--20 mm, lobes narrow- to wide-ovate, generally > 2 mm wide, much reduced or not, obtuse to acute, generally obscurely, minutely dentate, not ciliate; corolla 25--50 mm, deep blue (violet), lobes 5.5--13 mm, oblong-ovate to round, acute, sinus appendages divided < 1/2 way to base into generally 2--3 triangular segments, thread-like only toward tip. Seed: wingless. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Wet mountain meadows, slopes; Elevation: 1300--3900 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaRH, SNH; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep Note: Has hybridized with Gentiana newberryi var. tiogana in southern SNH (Tulare Co.).
Jepson eFlora Author: James S. Pringle
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Gentiana affinis var. ovata
Next taxon: Gentiana fremontii

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Botanical illustration including Gentiana calycosa

botanical illustration including Gentiana calycosa


Citation for this treatment: James S. Pringle 2012, Gentiana calycosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 13, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 13, 2019.

Gentiana calycosa
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© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Gentiana calycosa
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© 2010 California Academy of Sciences
Gentiana calycosa
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Gentiana calycosa
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Gentiana calycosa
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© 2014 Steve Matson
Gentiana calycosa
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© 1999 John Game

More photos of Gentiana calycosa in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Gentiana calycosa:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.