Auckland Island Gentian
Gentiana cerina Hook.f., G. cerina f. suberecta Kirk, G. cerina var. suberecta (Kirk) Cheeseman, G. campbellii Hombr. et Jacquinot ex Decne, Chionogentias cerina (Hook.f.) L.G. Adams
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: IE, RR
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon | Qualifiers: IE
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. New Zealand: Auckland Islands
Coastal turflands, Chionochloa antarctica tussocklands and Poa littorosa grasslands, Marsippospermum gracile and Pleurophyllum hookeri sedgeland or bare ground on summit fellfields, rarely in forest
Plants polycarpic, height in flower 90–170 mm. Caudex unbranched or branched, 110–200 mm long. Flowering stems terminal only or terminal and lateral, 3–12 per plant, 1.1–3.1 mm diameter, lateral flowering stems decumbent, flowering stem leaves 3–4 pairs per stem (not applicable in cases where no rosette is present on multi-branched plants), lowest pedicels from ½ up flowering stem to near apex of flowering stem. Rosette of leaves absent, not very distinct, or distinct from flowering plants leaves; leaves narrowly elliptic, 36.6–53.1 × 8.4–12.6 mm wide, flat, not recurved, margins thickened, apex rounded and retuse; petiole distinct, 11–13 mm long, 4.7–6.3 mm wide at leaf base. Flowering stem leaves the same but smaller. Pedicels 1 or 2 per leaf axil, 6.2–17.8 mm long, 1.2–1.3 mm diameter. Flowers 15 to more than 100 per plant, 9.9–14.1 mm long. Calyx 9.3–12.2 mm long, hairs at calyx–corolla fusion line present; lobes 7.5–10.3 mm long, 2.4–3.4 mm wide at base, plane, apices obtuse (widest near the apex), margins smooth, sinus hairs absent. Corolla 8.4–11.8 mm long, white or tinted red to purple, veins colourless or purple; tube 2.1–4.4 mm long; lobes 6.3–8.8 × 3.8–5.0 mm, hairs below sinus absent or present; nectary 1.2–1.5 mm from corolla base. Filaments 4.9–6.9 mm long from corolla base, 0.70–0.85 mm wide. Anthers 0.9– 1.7 mm long, extrorse at anthesis; pollen yellow. Stigma purple or colourless. Ovules 13–37 per ovary. Capsule 6.5–12 mm long.
Gentianella cerina differs from the only other species present on the Auckland Islands, G. concinna by its perennial growth habit; decumbent flowering stems; calyces that are 9.3–12.2 mm long, and pandurate calyx lobes which are rounded at the apices, with the corolla shorter than the calyx and with leaves which are 36–53 × 8.4–12.6 mm
March - May
Seeds dispersed by ballistic projection, wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009)
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild
A Naturally Uncommon, range-restricted, island endemic. Abundant on the islands it is under no obvious threat. The Auckland Islands are administered as a Nature Reserve and are part of a World Heritage Park with access strictly controlled by the New Zealand Department of Conservation.
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.
Description modified from Glenny (2004)
References and further reading
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