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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. prostrata Haenke

PIGMY GENTIAN

Annual
Stems ± prostrate to decumbent, 1–several, 0.5–8 cm
Leaves basal and cauline similar, spreading, 2–6 mm, 1–4 mm wide, spoon-shaped-obovate to broadly oblanceolate, obscurely or not white-margined, abruptly pointed; cauline ± evenly spaced, generally 0.5–2 X internodes
Inflorescence: flower 1
Flower: calyx 3.5–10 mm, lobes triangular, abruptly pointed; corolla 7–18 mm, medium to deep blue, lobes 2.5–5 mm, ovate, acute to acuminate, sinus appendages triangular, ± entire or ± irregularly jagged toward tip, acute
Seed wingless
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Wet mtn meadows
Elevation: 3500–3800 m.
Bioregional distribution: White and Inyo Mountains (White Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Colorado, Eurasia
Flowering time: Jul–Aug

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