American spurred gentian

(Halenia deflexa ssp. deflexa)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

American spurred gentian

NatureServe

N5? - Secure

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

Locally common

Habitat

Moist to wet. Coniferous forests, especially at the edges; cedar swamps; bogs; river banks; road clearings; and trails. Partial shade.

Flowering

July to August

 
Flower Color

Green to yellowish, often tinged with purple

 
Height

8 to 36, usually 16 or less

 

Identification

This is an erect, annual forb that rises on a rosette of basal leaves and a single flowering stem. It can be 8 to 36 tall but us usually no more than 16 in height.

The stems is erect, hairless, and has four rounded angles. It is usually unbranched but sometimes has a few branches above the middle.

Basal leaves are spatula-shaped or inversely lance-shaped, 2 to 4 long, and narrowed to a short stalk.

Stem leaves are opposite, lance-shaped to egg-shaped, unlobed, ¾ to 2 long, to 1 wide, and stalkless. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. There are 3 to 5 parallel veins. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescence is a loose, branched, cyme-like cluster of 2 to 9 flowers, usually 5 or more, at the end of the stem and also rising from upper leaf axils. Each flower is at the end of a stem that is up to 1½ long.

The flowers are to ½ long. There are 4 sepals, 4 petals, 4 stamens, and 1 style. The sepals are green and 3 16 long. They are united at the base into a very short tube then separated into 4 narrowly lance-shaped lobes. The petals are green to yellowish, often tinged with purple. They are united at the base into a short corolla tube then separated into 4 lance-shaped lobes. Each lobe has a tubular, downward-pointing, about 3 16 long spur at the base. The style has a 2-lobed stigma.

The fruit is a cone-shaped, curved, seed capsule that protrudes horn-like beyond the persistent corolla at maturity.

 
Similar
Species

The four-spurred corolla is distinctive. There are no similar species.


Distribution Distribution Map  

Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28, 29, 30.

 


Comments

Conservation Status
This species is listed as endangered in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and New York.

Trail Plant
This plant is often encountered in moist woods on trails that are wide enough to allow some sunlight to filter through.


Taxonomy

Family:

Gentianaceae (gentian)

 

Tribe:

Gentianeae

 
Synonyms

Halenia deflexa ssp. brentoniana

Halenia deflexa var. brentoniana

Swertia deflexa

 
Common
Names

American spurred gentian

American spurred-gentian

spurred-gentian

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

corolla

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

 

cyme

A branched, flat-topped or convex flower cluster in which the terminal flower opens first and the outermost flowers open last.

 

sepal

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

       

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