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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 14 | Gentianaceae | Gentiana

3. Gentiana algida Pallas, Fl. Ross. 1(2): 107, plate 95. 1789.

Arctic or whitish gentian

Gentiana romanzovii Ledebour ex Bunge; Gentianodes algida (Pallas) Á. Löve & D. Löve

Herbs perennial, 0.4–2 dm, glabrous. Stems 1–few, arising laterally below rosettes or seem­ingly from center of rosettes because of large basal leaves, decumbent to erect. Leaves basal and cauline; blades of basal and rosette leaves narrowly spatulate, 2–10(–14) cm × 1–7 mm, transitional to cauline leaves with blades oblanceolate to lanceolate or linear, 2–5 cm × 2–5 mm, blades of all leaves 6+ times as long as wide, apices obtuse to acute. Inflorescences 1–3-flowered. Flowers: calyx 15–28 mm, lobes linear to lanceolate, (5–)7–12 mm, margins not ciliate; corolla abaxially suffused with blue-violet on and below lobes, adaxially white or yellowish white with dark purple and/or greenish spots and streaks, funnelform, open, 35–50 mm, lobes ascending to spreading, ovate-triangular, 2–5 mm, summit of plicae nearly truncate, erose; anthers distinct. Seeds winged. 2n = 24.

Flowering summer–early fall. Arctic tundra, alpine meadows; 0–4000 m; Yukon; Alaska, Colo., Mont., N.Mex., Utah, Wyo., restricted to high elevations south of the Arctic; Asia.

Gentiana algida of North America and Asia is some­times considered conspecific with G. frigida Haenke of Europe. Early reports of differing chromosome numbers have been superseded by more recent counts indicat­ing that 2n = 24 prevails in both species. If these taxa are united, the North American plants can be called G. algida var. algida. This designation is also applicable if varieties are recognized among the Japanese or other Asiatic representatives of this species.


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