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

25. Gentiana villosa Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. 1: 228. 1753.

Striped or pale or straw-colored gentian

Dasystephana villosa (Linnaeus) Small; Gentiana deloachii (W. P. Lemmon) Shinners; G. ochroleuca Froelich

Herbs perennial, 0.7–6 dm, gla­brous. Stems 1–5, terminal from caudex, erect. Leaves cauline, ± evenly spaced; blade obovate or spatulate to elliptic, 2.5–10 cm × 10–40 mm, proximal blade apices retuse or truncate to obtuse, distal ± acute. Inflorescences ± dense 1–10-flowered cymes, often with additional flowers at 1 or 2(–4) nodes or on branches. Flowers: calyx 11–50 mm, lobes linear to oblanceolate, 5–35 mm, margins not ciliate; corolla largely white or greenish white with veins outlined in green, sometimes suffused with violet, or grayish violet ± throughout, tubular, narrowly open, 30–55 mm, lobes ascending, ovate-triangular, 4–10 mm, free portions of plicae obliquely triangular, erose, occa­sionally shallowly bifid; anthers connate or distinct. Seeds not winged. 2n = 26.

Flowering fall(–early winter southward). Mesic woods; 0–800 m; Ala., Fla., Ga., Ind., Ky., La., Md., Miss., N.C., Ohio, Pa., S.C., Tenn., Va., W.Va.

Gentiana villosa is believed to be extirpated from Delaware, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey.

Although the name Gentiana ochroleuca is a hetero­typic synonym of G. villosa, it was sometimes applied to G. flavida during the nineteenth century. Such a mis­application is responsible for reports of G. ochroleuca from Illinois. Reports of G. villosa from Arkansas are plausible but remain unsubstantiated.

The species name is a misnomer as plants of Gentiana villosa species are glabrous. The use of the translation “hairy gentian” as a common name is inappropriate and potentially confusing.

There is one record each of hybrids of Gentiana villosa with G. autumnalis and G. catesbaei.


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