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Gentiana calycosa Griseb.
Rainier Pleated Gentian
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)
Synonym(s): Gentiana calycosa var. obtusiloba, Gentiana calycosa var. xantha, Pneumonanthe calycosa
USDA Symbol: GECA
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
The clump of 4-16 in. stems is ever-increasing. Leaves are opposite, about 1 in. long, somewhat oval, and sessile to the stem. Several leafy stems in a clump bear at the top 1-3 blue, broadly funnel-shaped flowers. The light to deep blue, tubular flowers are held erect at the ends of the stems. The blue of the flower is sometimes mottled with green and the inner cup is pale.
Gentians are among the loveliest of mountain wildflowers and are rock-garden favorites. The genus honors King Gentius of Illyria, ruler of an ancient country on the east side of the Adriatic Sea, who is reputed to have discovered medicinal virtues in gentian plants.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Size Notes: Stems decumbent, up to about 18 inches long.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
DistributionUSA: CA , ID , MT , NV , OR , UT , WA , WY
Canada: AB , BC
Native Distribution: B.C. to n. CA, e. to w. MT & WY
Native Habitat: Moist, alpine or subalpine meadows & stream banks
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, cool soil.
Conditions Comments: When using this gentian in a garden, conditions matching its wet, cold natural habitat must be met for any succuss.
BenefitWarning: All parts of this plant, including the nectar, are poisonous if ingested. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a personís age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plantís different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Bumble Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Find Seed or Plants
View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 36 - Jepson eFlora (2019) The Jepson Herbarium, University of California, Berkeley
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Gentiana calycosa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gentiana calycosa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gentiana calycosa
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-02-13
Research By: TWC Staff