Plant: annual or biennial herb; 3-75 cm tall Leaves: basal leaves elliptic to spatulate, petiolate, often forming a weak rosette, withering early; cauline leaves sessile, lanceolate, ovate, to oblanceolate, reduced upwards INFLORESCENCE: simple or compound cymes Flowers: 4- or 5-merous, few to many, sessile or short-pedicellate in simple or compound cymes; calyx tube prominent to very reduced, the lobes equal, unequal, sometimes with 1 lobe large, foliaceous; corolla lavender, white, or yellow, cylindric to narrowly funnelform, 1-2 cm long, the lobes ca. 1/2 the tube length, bearing free or united coronal hairs at their bases; pistil sessile or short stipitate Fruit: a capsule usually slightly exceeding the marcescent corolla. SEEDS smooth to papillose, globose to slightly flattened Misc: Wet meadows and forested areas; 1450-3500 m (4700-11500 ft) REFERENCES: Mason, Charles T. 1998 Gentianaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 30(2): 84.
General: Annual or biennial, 3-75 cm tall; stems erect, simple to branched; herbage glabrous; taprooted. Leaves: Basal (soon withering) and cauline, opposite, simple, the basal ones oblanceolate to spatulate, 1.5-4.5 cm long, the cauline ones oblanceolate to lanceolate, reduced upwards, surfaces glabrous, margins entire to minutely serrate; basal blades petiolate, cauline blades sessile. Flowers: Inflorescence of cymes in the upper 2-5 nodes, often crowded, each subtended by a somewhat leaf-like floral bract, linear to lanceolate; calyx 5-lobed, funnelform to campanulate, 5-17 mm long, the tube 4-10 mm long; corolla 5-lobed, narrowly funnelform, 2-4 cm long, pleated, deep blue to bluish purple, often mottled or streaked with green, the sinuses with cleft or toothed appendages; anthers 1.6-3 mm long; flowers August-October. Fruits: Septicidal capsule, spindle-shaped; seeds numerous, minute, ovoid to spherical, smooth. Ecology: Montane slopes, wet alpine and subalpine meadows; 1400- 3500 m (4700-11500 ft); Apache, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, and Navajo counties; western and northern U.S. and Canada. Notes: According to some authorities Gentianella amarella has been treated as having three subspecies: ssp. acuta, ssp. heterosepala, and ssp. wrightii; other sources have treated each of these at the species level. Gentianella tenella (Lapland gentian) [=Gentiana tenella] is a tufted annual, 4-13 cm tall, the stems simple or branched at the base, the branches curved-ascending; leaves are mostly basal, oblanceolate to spatulate, 5-15 mm long, cauline blades few, similar but smaller; flowers are solitary and terminal or axillary, borne on pedicels 2-10 cm long; calyx is 5-11 mm long, somewhat enlarged at the base; corolla is white or blue tinged. It is found in shallow soils among lava boulders on the San Francisco Peaks at 2700-3700 m (9000-12000 ft). Gentianopsis barbellata (perennial fringed gentian) [=Gentiana barbellata] is a perennial, 5-17 cm tall, with few to several stems; leaves are mostly basal, oblanceolate, 2-8 cm long, sheathing at the base, the cauline ones linear to narrowly lanceolate, 1-3 cm long; flowers are solitary (rarely as many as 3), terminal, sessile or borne on short pedicels, each subtended by a pair of leaf-like bracts; calyx is funnelform, 1.5-2.5 cm long, the lobes tapering to a caudate tip; corolla is narrowly funnelform, 2.5-4.5 cm long, deep blue to purple, the lateral margins conspicuously fringed, the apex irregularly dentate; fruit is a septicidal capsule, spindle-shaped, borne on a stipe. It is found in our area only on the San Francisco Peaks at 3000-3700 m (10000- 12000 ft). Editor: Springer et al. 2008
Plants 1.5-6 dm, seldom branched; lvs sessile, lanceolate or lance-ovate; fls solitary in the middle axils, several in a close cyme from the upper axils, the pedicels seldom 1 cm; fls 4-5-merous; cal-lobes linear-oblong, 3-5 mm; cor blue or bluish, 10-15 mm, tubular funnelform to subsalverform, the obtuse or acute lobes 3-5 mm, bearing at base a fringe of hairs 2 mm; 2n=36. Moist rocky or gravelly soil; interruptedly circumboreal, s. to Me., Vt., w. S.D., and Mex. July, Aug. (G. acuta; Gentiana amarella) Highly variable, with some geographic correlation, but only doubtfully divisible into vars.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.