early horse-gentian

(Triosteum aurantiacum var. aurantiacum)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

early horse-gentian

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

FAC - Facultative

Midwest

FAC - Facultative

Northcentral & Northeast

FAC - Facultative

Nativity

Native

Occurrence

 

Habitat

Dry. Woods, thickets.

Flowering

May to June

     
Flower Color

Maroon, reddish-purple to brown, or yellowish-green

     
Height

2 to 4

     

Identification

This is a 2 to 4 tall, erect, perennial forb rising on 1 or more stems from a taproot.

The stems are 2 to 4 tall and are covered with short, glandular hairs that are more than .5 mm long. Mixed in with the glandular hairs are longer non-glandular hairs.

The leaves are opposite, light green, and untoothed. They are attached to the stem without a stalk but are not fused at the base. They are 4 to 12 long, 1½ to 6 wide, and broadly-elliptic. They taper gradually to a pointed tip and taper broadly to the base. They have sparse, glandular hairs on the upper surface, and dense, soft hairs on the lower surface.

The inflorescence is a tight cluster of 1 to 4 (usually 3 to 4) flowers in the upper leaf axils.

At the base of the flower are 5 linear, erect sepals. They are uniformly hairy on the back and along the margins, and sometimes also have glandular hairs.

The flowers are to long with 5 maroon, reddish-purple to brown, or yellowish-green petals. The petals are fused into a tubular or bell-shaped floral tube along most of their length. The tube is swollen on one side at the base. The lobes of the tube are unequal in length. The style is shorter than and does not protrude from the floral tube.

The fruit is berry-like, dull orange-yellow, and hairy. Each fruit contains 3 oblong stones.

 
Similar
Species

Late horse-gentian (Triosteum perfoliatum) stems are covered with short hairs that are less than .5 mm long. At least 3 of the pairs of lower and middle leaves are fused at the base, appearing to be pierced by the stem. The style is longer than and protrudes from the floral tube.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 7, 28.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Caprifoliaceae (honeysuckle)

 

Subfamily:

Caprifolioideae

 
Synonyms

Triosteum perfoliatum var. aurantiacum

 
Common
Names

early horse-gentian

orangefruit horse-gentian


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

axil

The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.

 

glandular hairs

Hairs spread over aerial vegetation that secrete essential oils. The oils act to protect against herbivores and pathogens or, when on a flower part, attract pollinators. The hairs have a sticky or oily feel.

 

linear

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

       

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