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Gentiana newberryi

alpine gentian, Newberry's gentian

gentian family

Habit Herbs perennial, 0.1–1.5(–3.5) dm (below flowers), glabrous. Herbs [shrubs, trees], annual, biennial, or perennial, autotrophic, with green stems and leaves, or mycotrophic; when strongly mycotrophic, stems and leaves weakly chlorophyllous (only in Bartonia) or yellowish, whitish, purplish, or buff, or lacking chlorophyll (only in Voyria).

1–5, arising laterally below rosettes, from a stout tap root, tufted, decumbent.


basal and cauline;

blades of basal rosette and proximal cauline leaf blades widely spatulate to obovate or oblanceolate, 0.8–5 cm × 2–25 mm, apex obtuse or mucronate, at least these leaves with blades less than 6 times as long as wide, distal cauline leaves few, with blades oblanceolate to lanceolate or linear, 2–5 cm × 2–5 mm, apices acute.

cauline, often also basal, opposite, whorled, or rarely alternate, sessile or petiolate, simple;

stipules absent [rarely present as ocreae];

blade margins entire.


terminal, flowers usually solitary, occasionally 2 or 3.

cymes (sometimes racemoid, spicoid, or capitate), thyrses, or verticillasters, or solitary flowers;

flowers pedicellate or sessile.


calyx 14–30 mm, lobes linear to narrowly ovate, (4–)6–12 mm, margins not ciliate;

corolla white or blue, campanulate, open, 23–55 mm, lobes spreading, elliptic-obovate, 7–17 mm, free portions of plicae divided into 2 triangular, serrate to lacerate segments;

anthers distinct.

bisexual or occasionally some unisexual [all unisexual on some or all plants], homostylous [heterostylous], protandrous and outbreeding or less often homogamous and autogamous, radially [somewhat bilaterally] symmetric, 4–12(–14)-merous [rarely 3-, 6-, or 16-merous] except for carpels;

perianth hypogynous, calyx and usually corolla persistent;

calyx green or occasionally ± hyaline (absent in Obolaria), sepals connate or some [or all] nearly distinct, lobes imbricate in bud, often ± unequal, colleters often present adaxially near base;

corolla petaloid, petals connate, lobes contorted in bud or rarely imbricate (Obolaria, Voyria), spurs present only in Halenia, 1 per petal;

stamens epipetalous, isomerous and alternate with petals, all fertile [rarely some sterile], equal [unequal];

filaments free or connected by a corona;

anthers 2-locular, dehiscing longitudinally [with terminal pores], remaining straight, recurving, or coiling helically or circinately, distinct or (only in some spp.


capsular, dehiscence septicidal or rarely rupturing irregularly (Obolaria) [indehiscent capsules, berries].



few–very many, usually sessile;

endosperm abundant and embryo small in autotrophic species, endosperm scant and embryo undifferentiated in completely mycotrophic species (Voyria).


Gentiana) coherent;

pistil 1, 2-carpellate;

ovary 1[or 2]-locular;

placentae 2, parietal [axile];

style present or absent, erect or initially deflexed to one side [declinate], uncleft, shallowly 2-cleft, or deeply cleft (Sabatia);

stigmas 1 or 2, coiling only in Sabatia, decurrent on ovary (only in Lomatogonium, sometimes slightly so in Bartonia).

Gentiana newberryi


from USDA
w United States
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
nearly worldwide
[BONAP county map]

Varieties 2 (2 in the flora).

The two varieties of Gentiana newberryi intergrade extensively. The most distinctive form of var. newberryi, with relatively tall stems and medium to deep blue corollas, occurs in the northern part of the range of the species, from the Klamath and White mountains of California north into Oregon. Plants most clearly referable to var. tiogana prevail in the southern part of the range of the species, from Butte County south to Inyo and Tulare counties, California. In the central part of the range of the species, plant size and corolla color are less consistently correlated, with occasional plants combining low stature with deep blue corollas or tall stems with predominantly white or pale blue corollas. In that part of the range, corolla color may be highly variable within a single population.

The leaves of Gentiana newberryi are thick-textured and distinctively concave, usually spoon-shaped, when fresh. Narrower leaves sometimes occur in var. tiogana, but many plants of that variety have widely spatulate leaves like those of var. newberryi.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Genera ca. 100, species ca. 1800 (18 genera, 112 species in the flora).

In the tribal classification by L. Struwe et al. (2002), genera 1–7 in this flora are in tribe Chironieae Dumortier, subtribe Chironiinae G. Don. Species of Chironieae generally lack nectaries, although Sabatia reportedly has indistinct nectaries at the base of the ovary. Genera 8–17 are in tribe Gentianeae Dumortier. Gentiana, in which the nectaries are on the gynophore, is in subtribe Gentianinae G. Don; the remaining genera of the Gentianeae in the flora area, all of which have epipetalous nectaries, are in subtribe Swertiinae Grisebach. Voyria constitutes the monogeneric tribe Voyrieae Gilg, in which the nectaries (when present) are on the ovary or the gynophore.

Pedicel lengths given here refer to the true pedicels, between the most distal pair of bracts or bractlets and the calyx. In some genera, notably Centaurium, Sabatia, and Zeltnera, a flower terminating the ultimate branch of an inflorescence, directly subtended by bractlets, although sessile by this definition, may appear pedicellate. Corolla lengths as given are from the receptacle to the apices of the lobes (or plicae in Gentiana andrewsii).

The Gentianaceae include many species esteemed in ornamental horticulture. In addition to those noted under the respective genera, the more important species in North American horticulture include Exacum affine Balfour f. ex Regel, Persian-violet, native to the island of Socotra, Yemen, which is widely grown as a florists’ pot plant.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

1. Corollas medium to deep blue with greenish to dark purple lines abaxially on and below lobes, usually 35–55 mm.
var. newberryi
1. Corollas white to pale blue except for greenish to dark purple lines abaxially on and below lobes, usually 23–42 mm.
var. tiogana
1. Corollas with 4 spurs.
1. Corollas without spurs.
→ 2
2. Leaves and stems yellowish, whitish, purplish, or buffy, without chlorophyll or weakly chlorophyllous; leaves scalelike, blades to 5 mm.
→ 3
3. Stems and leaves yellowish green or purplish; corollas narrowly campanulate, lobes 4, longer than tube; widely distributed in c, e North America (including Florida).
3. Stems and leaves white to pale buff; corollas salverform, lobes 5, shorter than tube; Florida only.
2. Leaves and usually stems green; some leaf blades 5+ mm.
→ 4
4. Flowers subtended by 2 separate, leaflike bracts but without calyx.
4. Flowers with calyx of 4–12(–14) sepals, some or all connate at least near base.
→ 5
5. Corollas with projecting summits of plicae between lobes, or (in G. sceptrum) with the summit of the plicae forming a truncate gap between the lobes.
5. Corollas without plicae or truncate gaps between lobes.
→ 6
6. Stigmas decurrent along sutures of ovary; corollas rotate to widely campanulate.
6. Stigmas not decurrent on ovary; corollas salverform, funnelform, campan­ulate, subrotate, or rotate.
→ 7
7. Nectaries in pits prominent adaxially on corolla lobes, pit openings (and sometimes adjacent areas on corolla lobes) with fringed or pro­jecting margins.
→ 8
8. Nectaries 1 per corolla lobe, or if 2 with both opening into single fringe-rimmed area on corolla lobe.
Frasera (in part)
8. Nectaries 2 per corolla lobe, with completely separate openings each surrounded by fringed rim.
→ 9
9. Cauline leaves opposite or alternate; corollas blue or violet-blue (rarely greenish white), 4- or 5-lobed.
9. Cauline leaves whorled; corollas yellowish green with purple spots and occasionally purple suffusion, 4-lobed.
Frasera (in part)
7. Nectaries, if present, not in pits with fringe-rimmed openings (corolla may be fringed at throat, but fringes do not surround nectary-pit openings).
→ 10
10. Corollas rotate; styles cleft 1+ mm, style branches and stigmas often helically coiled; anthers coiling circinately or remaining nearly straight.
10. Corollas tubular, salverform, funnelform, or campanulate; styles not cleft or cleft to 1 mm, neither style branches nor stigmas coiling; anthers remaining straight or coiling helically.
→ 11
11. Corollas widely campanulate, lobes 2+ times as long as tube.
11. Corollas funnelform or salverform, lobes shorter than 1.5 times tube.
→ 12
12. Corollas with fringes of trichomes or fringed scales on adaxial surface near base of lobes; margins of lobes not fringed.
→ 13
13. Pedicels longer than subtending internodes; nectaries 2 times as many as corolla lobes.
13. Pedicels mostly shorter than subtending internodes; nectaries same number as corolla lobes.
Gentianella (in part)
12. Corollas without fringes or scales on adaxial surface near base of lobes; margins of lobes fringed or not.
→ 14
14. Corollas tubular, funnelform, or campanulate, or if ± salverform then with fringes or conspicuous teeth on margins of lobes, lobes not abruptly spreading horizontally at summit of tube, margins entire, dentate-serrate, or fringed.
→ 15
15. Corolla lobe margins entire, corollas 0.4–3 cm, lobes 4 or 5, shorter than tube.
Gentianella (in part)
15. Corolla lobe margins dentate-serrate or fringed, corollas (1.2–)2–8 cm, lobes 4, ± as long as tube, or if shorter then with margins as above.
14. Corollas salverform, with lobes abruptly spreading ± horizontally at summit of slender tube (corollas often closing in specimen preparation), margins entire or minutely erose near apex only.
→ 16
16. Corollas yellow; anthers remaining straight, not coiling.
16. Corollas pink to rose-violet or occasionally white; anthers coiling helically.
→ 17
17. Inflorescences largely spicate, only proximally, if at all, dichasial.
17. Inflorescences dichasially or partly monochasially cymose (distally sometimes racemoid or subcapitate).
→ 18
18. Stigmas 2, elliptic to ovate or orbiculate; capsules cylindric.
18. Stigmas 2, fan-shaped, or 1, 2-lobed (sometimes appearing sub­capitate in Zeltnera trichantha); capsules ovoid to ellipsoid.
→ 19
19. Stigmas 2, fan-shaped, or 1, with 2 ± fan-shaped lobes.
19. Stigma 1, shallowly 2-lobed with hemispherical lobes.
Source FNA vol. 14. FNA vol. 14. Author: James S. Pringle.
Parent taxa Gentianaceae > Gentiana
Sibling taxa
G. affinis, G. algida, G. andrewsii, G. austromontana, G. autumnalis, G. calycosa, G. catesbaei, G. clausa, G. decora, G. douglasiana, G. flavida, G. fremontii, G. glauca, G. latidens, G. linearis, G. nivalis, G. parryi, G. pennelliana, G. platypetala, G. plurisetosa, G. prostrata, G. puberulenta, G. rubricaulis, G. saponaria, G. sceptrum, G. setigera, G. villosa
Subordinate taxa
G. newberryi var. newberryi, G. newberryi var. tiogana
Bartonia, Centaurium, Cicendia, Comastoma, Eustoma, Frasera, Gentiana, Gentianella, Gentianopsis, Gyrandra, Halenia, Lomatogonium, Obolaria, Sabatia, Schenkia, Swertia, Voyria, Zeltnera
Name authority A. Gray: Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts 11: 84. (1876) Jussieu
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