Gentianella calcis subsp. calcis
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
2n = 36
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 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: CD, EF, OL
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | Threatened – Nationally Critical | Qualifiers: CD, EF, OL
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. South Island, two sites in the Waitaki Valley.
A limestone endemic confined to limestone bluffs, where it grows in rock joints, crevices, associated rendzina soils, limestone talus and associated colluvium. Usually in bare or sparsely vegetated sites.
Perennial tufted herb partially dying back to root-stock in winter. Rosette leaves without obvious petiole; linear 68-83 mm long, 2.6-4.1 mm wide, green to purple-green, strongly V-shaped in cross-section, apex acute, recurved; margins minutely toothed or smooth. Cauline leaves, linear, somewhat recurved, usually smaller than rosette leaves. Flowering stems, purple-black, 1-5 per plant. Pedicels 3.5-14 mm long, 0.8-1 mm diam. Flowers 9-28(-78) per plant, 15-18 mm long. Calyx green, tinted purple black, 7.5-14 mm long; lobes 4.6-10 mm long, 1.9-2.5 mm wide at base. Corolla 13.5-17 mm long, veins colourless; tube 3.4-5 mm long; lobes 10-12 mm long, 6.2-9 mm wide, margins toothed; nectary 0.9-1.6 mm from corolla base, V-shaped to pocket-like. Filaments 6.5-8.5 mm long from corolla base, 0.6-0.9 mm wide. Anthers 1.9-3.1 mm long, extrorse at anthesis. Ovules 9-35 per ovary. Ovary becoming bluish-purple after flowering. Capsules 13-17.5 mm.
Closely allied to G. calcis subsp. manahune Glenny et Molloy, G. calcis subsp. waipara Glenny et Molloy, and G. calcis subsp. taiko Glenny et Molloy, from all of which it differs by the longer and wider rosette leaves, while it it differs from G. calcis subsp. manahune by its colourless rather than purple corolla veins.
(March-) April (-June)
(April-) August (-November)
Seeds dispersed by ballistic projection, wind and water (Thorsen et al. 2009)
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.
At serious risk of extinction from the spread of weeds such as Festuca rubra, Pilosella officinarum L., Dactylis glomerata L. and Sedum acre L., and because the population is so small natural disturbances caused by storms, slumping, rock and boulder fall. Previously regarded (as Gentiana aff. astonii (c) (CHR 519113; Awahokomo)) 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)
Where To Buy
Not commercially available
Notes on taxonomy
Gentianella calcis is closely related to G. astonii (Petrie) T.N.Ho et S.W.Liu, from which it differs by the consistently longer (30-83 mm cf. 9-32 mm) leaves, which are usually folded, and by the recurved leaf apex.
Description modified from Glenny (2004).
References and further reading
de Lange P. et al. 2004: Threatened and uncommon plants on 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.
Thorsen, M. J.; Dickinson, K. J. M.; Seddon, P.J. 2009: Seed dispersal systems in the New Zealand flora. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 11: 285-309