Gentianella astonii subsp. arduana
Ward beach Gentian, chalk range Gentian
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs other than Composites
Current conservation status
The conservation status of all known New Zealand vascular plant taxa at the rank of species and below were reassessed in 2017 using the New Zealand Threat Classification System (NZTCS). This report includes a statistical summary and brief notes on changes since 2012 and replaces all previous NZTCS lists for vascular plants. Authors: By Peter J. de Lange, Jeremy R. Rolfe, John W. Barkla, Shannel P. Courtney, Paul D. Champion, Leon R. Perrie, Sarah M. Beadel, Kerry A. Ford, Ilse Breitwieser, Ines Schönberger, Rowan Hindmarsh-Walls, Peter B. Heenan and Kate Ladley.
2012 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: RR, Sp
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. South Island. Marlborough, near Ward, Chalk Range, Mean Hill and In Canterbury at Whalesback Ridge
Coastal to montane on limestone rocks. Often on steep bluffs, cliffs and cliff faces, ledges, crevices and rock joints. Also on limestone talus, colluvium and associated rendzina soils
Tufted perennial up to 110 mm tall when flowering. Flowering stems, 3-26 per plant, green or purple-black. Rosette leaves absent. Leaves narrowly to very narrowly elliptic to obovate, 8.6-25 x 1.1-3.9 mm, purple at base, otherwise dark green, flat or slightly V-shaped, margins minutely toothed or smooth; apex rounded to acute. Pedicels (0-)3-18 mm long. Flowers 6-52 per plant, 10-20 mm long. Calyx 5.2-7.1 mm; lobes, green, 3.5-5.4 x 1.1-1.7 mm, plane or recurved, margins minutely toothed. Corolla 9.2-15.2 mm, white, with violet tinting on the outside and inside of the corolla lobe apices, tube 3.0-5.2 mm; lobes 6.2-10 x 3.9-6.7 mm, apices toothed. Nectaries 1.2-4.3 mm from corolla base, V-shaped with a pocket or flaps that are not fused at base, margins toothed to entire. Filaments 4-8.6 mm from corolla base. Anthers 1.1-2.0 mm, anther wall blue-black. Ovules 13-28 per ovary. Capsule 7.6-15 mm.
Distinguished from G. astonii (Petrie) T.N.Ho et S.W.Liu subsp. astonii by the smaller leaves (8.6-25 cf. 16-32 mm in subsp. astonii), smaller anthers (1.1-2 cf. 1.7-2.5 mm in subsp. astonii), and 13-28 ovules per ovary cf. 27-30 ovules per ovary in subsp. astonii. From G. calcis Glenny et Molloy, G. astonii differs by the shorter leaves (9-32 cf. 30-83 in G. calcis), which are plane and without a recurved apex.
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.
Most at risk in the lowland part of its range, where it is threatened by weeds and the potential for further limestone quarrying. Otherwise secure in the inland and more montane part of its range. Previously regarded (as Gentiana aff. astonii (d) (CHR 529114; Ward) and Gentiana aff. astonii (f) (CHR 279272; Chalk Range)) as Range Restricted in de Lange et al. (2004).
gentianella: Little Gentiana (named after Gentius, 6th century king of Illyria, who found the roots of the yellow gentian to have a healing effect on his malaria-stricken troops)
astonii: After Aston
Where To Buy
Not commercially available.
Description modified from Glenny (2004)
References and further reading
de Lange et al., 2004, Threatened and uncommon plants of New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 45-76.
Glenny, D. 2004: A revision of the genus Gentianella in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42: 361-530.