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Genus Gentiana Family Gentianaceae

Synonyms: Comastoma APNI*
Dasystephana APNI*

Description: Small annual herbs, stem unbranched to many-branched, stems with basal leaves or a leafless basal part.

Leaves opposite, usually keeled, margins moderately thick, ± cartilaginous; cauline leaves similar to the basal leaves except smaller in size.

Flowers solitary and terminal, mostly 5-merous; generally opening only in direct sunlight. Calyx tube mostly 5-lobed, lobes connected by intersepaline membranes; persistent in fruit. Corolla narrow-campanulate, mostly with 5 spreading lobes and with smaller folded lobes between the major lobes; persistent in fruit. Stamens 5, enclosed in corolla tube; filaments fused to corolla tube in lower half; anthers not versatile. Ovary stipitate with stipe elongating in fruit.

Capsule ovoid, 2-valved; seeds numerous.


Photo © ANBG

Distribution and occurrence: World: >300 species, cosmopolitan, except Africa, chiefly alpine regions. Australia: 4 species (endemic), N.S.W.

Text by G. J. Harden
Taxon concept:

 Key to the species 
1Plants usually with a basal rosette of 2–6 pairs of leaves much larger than the cauline leaves and with more or less smooth margins; corolla white or very pale blue; fruiting stipe less than 6 mm long2
Plants rarely with a basal rosette, and if so then the leaves not or little larger than the cauline leaves and the margins minutely scabrous; corolla sky blue; fruiting stipe 10–25 mm long3
2Basal leaves less than 8 mm long, apex obtuse or shortly mucronate; corolla lobes whitish blue inside; folds mostly 1-lobed; anthers c. 0.5 mm long; fruiting stipe 5 mm longGentiana baeuerlenii
Basal leaves mostly 10–20 mm long, apex acute or acuminate, usually mucronate; corolla lobes white inside; folds lacerate or mostly 2-lobed; anthers c. 1 mm long; fruiting stipe 2.5 mm long
                       Back to 1
Gentiana bredboensis
3Stems minutely scabrous above, leafless basal part 10–25 mm long; fruiting stipe 15–25 mm longGentiana wingecarribiensis
Stem smooth throughout, leafless basal part 5–10 mm long; fruiting stipe usually 10–15 mm long
                       Back to 1
Gentiana wissmannii

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