Gentianella corymbifera subsp. corymbifera
grassland gentian, tall gentian
Gentiana corymbifera Kirk, Gentiana bellidifolia var. vacillata Kirk, Chionogentias corymbifera (Kirk) L.G.Adams, Gentiana pleurogynoides var. rigida Kirk, Gentiana bellidifolia var. vacillata Kirk
Vascular – Native
Herbs - Dicotyledons other than Composites
The National Vegetation Survey (NVS) Databank is a physical archive and electronic databank containing records of over 94,000 vegetation survey plots - including data from over 19,000 permanent plots. NVS maintains a standard set of species code abbreviations that correspond to standard scientific plant names from the Ngä Tipu o Aotearoa - New Zealand Plants database.
2n = 36
Current conservation status
The threat classification 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) – more information about this can be found on the NZTCS website 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. Please note, threat classifications are often suggested by authors when publications fall between NZTCS assessment periods – a suggested threat classification status has not been assessed by the NZTCS panel.
2017 | Not Threatened
Previous conservation statuses
2012 | Not Threatened
2009 | Not Threatened
2004 | Not Threatened
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (Nelson, Marlborough, Canterbury and Otago, mostly east of the Main Divide, and scarce in Otago)
Montane to alpine. In short-tussock and tall-tussock grassland, rough pasture on hill slopes, within intermontane basins, along river terraces, and more rarely in ephemeral or permanent wetlands. Being unpalatable to livestock it is common in heavily browsed montane to alpine grasslands.
Plants biennial, monocarpic rarely polycarpic, height in flower 60–470 mm. Caudex unbranched, 15–70 mm long. Root branched or unbranched, 1.3–11.3 mm diameter at stem base. Flowering stems terminal only or terminal and lateral with more slender lateral branches from among the rosette leaves, 1–9 per plant, terminal flowering stem 3.0–11.3 mm diameter at base, green, tinted crimson or purple-black, lateral flowering stems erect, internodes 2–6 pairs per stem, lowest pedicels from near base of flowering stem, halfway up flowering stem, or near apex of flowering stem. Rosette of leaves present and distinct from flowering stem leaves, leaves narrowly elliptic to elliptic or ovate, leaf apex acute to rounded, 41.0–168.0 × 6.5–31 mm, sometimes tinted crimson or purple-black below or on the petiole, usually flat, sometimes V-shaped or channelled at the petiole, petiole indistinct, 10–40 mm long, 4.0–18.5 mm wide at leaf base. Flowering stem leaves ovate, apex acute, sessile. Flowers 7–110 per plant, 14–23 mm long, rarely female. Pedicels 1–3 per leaf axil, 3–50 mm long, 0.9–1.5 mm diameter. Calyx 6.8–18 mm long, 2.7-4.0 mm wide at base, green or tinted purple-black, crimson, or bronze; lobes 2.9–11.3 × 2.7–6.8 mm, plane, apices acute, margins smooth or minutely denticulate, hairs at sinuses present or absent. Corolla 14.0–21.1 mm long, white, rarely flushed with pink; tube 2.5–12 mm long; lobes 7.5–15.5 × 5.1–10.2 mm, hairs below sinus present; nectary 0.7–1.5 mm from corolla base. Filaments 7.2–12.8 mm long from corolla base, 1.1–1.6 mm wide. Anthers 1.9–3.2 mm long, anther wall yellow or blue-black, mouth yellow, extrorse, rarely introrse at anthesis. Stigma colourless. Ovules 36–68 per ovary. Capsules 12–19 mm long.
Distinguished from other Gentianella by the very stout terminal flowering stem (3.0–11.3 mm diameter), which may bear up to 110 flowers; by the petiole of the rosette leaves which is very wide (4.0– 18.5 mm); and by the usually large, thick, fleshy, flat rosette leaves which often have a V-shaped petiole. Distinguished from subsp. gracilis by its monocarpic life form; by the terminal flowering stem 3.0–11.3 mm diameter when fresh; leaves 41–168 × 6.5–31 mm wide; calyx lobes 2.7–4.0 mm wide; corolla 14.0–21.1 mm long; and by the filaments 1.1–1.6 mm wide.
December – March
February - May
Seeds dispersed by ballistic projection, wind and water (Thorsen et al., 2009)
Difficult. Should not be removed from the wild.
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.
Fact Sheet for NZPCN prepared by P.J. de Lange (1 November 2004). 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