pleated gentian

(Gentiana affinis)

Conservation Status
pleated gentian
 
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

S3 - Vulnerable

     
  Minnesota

Special Concern

     
           
Wetland Indicator Status
     
  Great Plains

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Midwest

FACU - Facultative upland

     
  Northcentral & Northeast

FACU - Facultative upland

     
           
 
Description
 
 

Pleated gentian is a 2 to 16 tall, erect or reclining, perennial forb that rises on 1 to several stems from a caudex

The stems are slightly reddish and may be erect or recline on the ground with only the tips ascending. They are unbranched below the inflorescence. They are densely covered with minute, fine hairs, often in lines as below the leaf margins.

The leaves are opposite, lance-shaped to egg-shaped, thick, to 1½ long, and to wide. They have 1 main vein and 2 smaller lateral veins. The upper surface is hairless. The lower surface is hairless except for hairs on the midvein. The margins are untoothed and have a fringe of minute hairs along the entire margin.

The inflorescence is a cluster of 1 to several flowers at the top of the stem and often individual flowers rising on short stalks from the upper leaf axils.

The flowers are ¾ to 1 long.

Each flower is subtended by 5 green sepals (calyx) fused at the base into a to 5 16 long tube, then separated into 5 linear lance-shaped lobes that are unequal in size and less than half to nearly as long as the tube. The calyx tube is minutely hairy along the margin.

There are 5 blue petals alternating with 5 obviously shorter plaits, all fused at the base and for most of their length into a bell shaped, ¾ to 1 long corolla tube, then separated into 5 lobes. The lobes are oblong egg-shaped, 1 16 to ¼ long, unequal in size, sometimes virtually suppressed, spreading, and pointed or rounded at the tip. The lobes have numerous, conspicuous, white or pale spots. The tube is often cleft once or twice, especially when a lobe is suppressed. The plaits are toothed at the tip.

In the center of the corolla tube is a pistil with a white, 2-lobed stigma, surrounded by 5 stamens with white filaments and white anthers. The anthers are separate, not fused together.

The fruit is an elliptical, one-chambered capsule with numerous seeds.

 
     
 

Height

 
 

2 to 16

 
     
 

Flower Color

 
 

Blue

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
  Downy gentian (Gentiana puberulenta) flower is larger. The corolla lobes do not have pale spots.  
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Moist. Saline wetlands in native prairie remnants.

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Flowering

 
 

August through September

 
     
 

Pests and Diseases

 
 

 

 
     
 
Use
 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 28.

 
  1/6/2014      
         
 

Nativity

 
 

Native

 
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

Rare in Minnesota

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  
 

Order

Gentianales (gentians, dogbanes, madders, and allies)  
 

Family

Gentianaceae (gentian)  
  Tribe Gentianeae  
  Subtribe Gentianinae  
 

Genus

Gentiana (gentian)  
  Section Pneumonanthe  
       
 

Subordinate Taxa

 
 

Two varieties of pleated gentian have been described. Only the nominate variety, var. affinis, occurs in Minnesota. Plants of the World Online (POWO) and most other sources do not accept the varieties.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Dasystephana affinis

Dasystephana interrupta

Gentiana affinis var.affinis

Gentiana affinis var. bigelovii

Gentiana affinis var. forwoodii

Gentiana affinis var. major

Gentiana affinis var. ovata

Gentiana affinis var. parvidentata

Gentiana bigelovii

Gentiana forwoodii

Gentiana interrupta

Gentiana oregana

Gentiana rusbyi

Pneumonanthe affinis

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

northern gentian

pleated gentian

Rocky Mountain gentian

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Bract

Modified leaf at the base of a flower stalk, flower cluster, or inflorescence.

 

Calyx

The group of outer floral leaves (sepals) below the petals, occasionally forming a tube.

 

Caudex

A short, thickened, woody, persistent enlargement of the stem, at or below ground level, used for water storage.

 

Corolla

A collective name for all of the petals of a flower.

 

Linear

Long, straight, and narrow, with more or less parallel sides, like a blade of grass.

 

Plait

A fold or pleat.

 

Sepal

An outer floral leaf, usually green but sometimes colored, at the base of a flower.

       
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  pleated gentian    
       

Inflorescence

  pleated gentian   pleated gentian
       
       

 

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