lesser fringed gentian

(Gentianopsis virgata ssp. virgata)

               
Conservation Status

IUCN Red List

not yet assessed

lesser fringed gentian (ssp. virgata)

NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

Minnesota

not listed

Wetland
Indicator
Status

Great Plains

OBL - Obligate wetland

Midwest

OBL - Obligate wetland

Northcentral & Northeast

OBL - Obligate wetland

Nativity

Native

 
Occurrence

 

 
Habitat

Wet. Bogs, meadows, shores.

 
Flowering

August to October

     
Flower Color

Bright blue

     
Height

4 to 20

     

Identification

This is a 4 to 20 tall, erect, annual forb that rises on a single stem from a taproot.

The stems are erect, hairless, leafy, and unbranched or with a few branches above the middle.

Basal and lower stem leaves are opposite and spatula-shaped. Upper stem leaves are opposite, linear or narrowly linear lance-shaped, stalkless, 1 to 2½ long, and less than wide. They taper to a point at the tip. The upper and lower surfaces are hairless. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescence is 1 to 6 solitary flowers at the end of the stem and each of the branches. Each flower is on a long stalk.

The flowers are narrowly bell-shaped, erect, ¾ to 2¼ high, and and 1½ to 2 wide. There are 4 light green sepals fused together from the base into a to 1¼ long tube, then separated into 2 long and 2 short lobes. The lobes are erect, pointed, and hairless or nearly hairless. The midrib of each sepal forms a bumpy keel. There are 4 bright blue petals fused from the base for three-quarters of their length into a tube then separated at the tip into 4 lobes. There are no pleats between the petals. The lobes are spatula-shaped, rounded, and widely spaced though usually somewhat ascending. They lobe margin is shallowly fringed near the throat and toothed toothed toward the tip. The flowers open on sunny days and remain closed on cloudy days.

The fruit is a spindle-shaped, 1-chambered capsule containing many seeds.

 
Similar
Species

Greater fringed gentian (Gentianopsis crinita) is a larger plant, reaching up to 32 in height. The leaves are lance-shaped, not linear. The petal margins are deeply fringed around their entire margin except near the base.

Macoun’s fringed gentian (Gentianopsis virgata ssp. macounii) has been reported in only Kittson and Clay Counties.


Distribution Distribution Map   Sources: 3, 4, 7.

Comments

 


Taxonomy

Family:

Gentianaceae (gentian)

 

Tribe:

Gentianeae

 

Subtribe:

Swertiinae

 
Parent

lesser fringed gentian (Gentianopsis virgata)

 
Synonyms

Gentiana crinita var. browniana

Gentiana procera

Gentianella crinita ssp. procera

Gentianopsis procera

Gentianopsis procera var. procera

 
Common
Names

Great Plains fringed gentian

lesser fringed gentian

small fringed gentian

smaller fringed gentian


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Keeled

Folded, as in a grass blade, or with a raised ridge, as in a grass sheath; like the keel of a boat.

 

Linear

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

 

Sepal

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

       

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  lesser fringed gentian (ssp. virgata)   lesser fringed gentian (ssp. virgata)
       
  lesser fringed gentian (ssp. virgata)   lesser fringed gentian
       
       

 

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