Gentiana filipes Cheeseman, Chionogentias filipes (Cheeseman) L.G.Adams
Vascular – Native
Dicotyledonous Herbs 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 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
Previous conservation statuses
2009 | At Risk – Naturally Uncommon
2004 | Range Restricted
Endemic. New Zealand: South Island (north-west Nelson)
Alpine grasslands dominated by Poa colensoi, marble scree and talus, rock crevices, peat bog, gravel riverbed. Mainly overlying marble, where it is usually found in skeletal soils.
Plants annual, monocarpic, height in flower 20–140 mm. Caudex unbranched, 25–35 mm long. Root 0.5–0.9 mm diam. at stem base. Flowering stems terminal and lateral, 2–8 per plant, central flowering stem 0.9–1.9 mm diameter at base; stem colour green, tinted crimson or purple-black, lateral flowering stems erect to decumbent, flowering stem leaves 1–5 pairs per stem, lowest pedicels from near base of flowering stem to near apex of flowering stem. Rosette of leaves absent from flowering plants, basal leaves narrowly elliptic or elliptic or ovate, 9–20 × 2.6–6.4 mm wide, green, flat, not recurved, apex acute or rounded; petiole distinct or indistinct, 3.5–8.8 mm long, 1.0–2.6 mm wide at leaf base. Flowering stem leaves elliptic to ovate, apices rounded or acute. Pedicels 1 per leaf axil, 4.5–32 mm long, 0.7–1.8 mm diameter, 0.5–0.7 mm diameter. Flowers 1–81 per plant, 8.2–13 mm long, sometimes female. Calyx 6.0–8.5 mm long, green tinted purple-black, at lower lobe margins, hairs at calyx–corolla fusion line absent or present; 4–5-lobed, lobes 2.6–5.0 mm long, 2.2–5.2 mm wide at base, strongly ridged between the lobes, plane or recurved, margins smooth, apices acute, sinus hairs abundant. Corolla 7.6–12 mm long, white, sometimes tinted purple at corolla tips; tube 2.6–4.6 mm long; lobes 4.5–8.3 × 3.3–5.9 mm wide, hairs below sinus absent or present; nectary 0.4–1.1 mm from corolla base. Filaments 4.3–7.8 mm long from corolla base, 0.6–0.9 mm wide. Anthers 0.8–1.4 mm long, anther wall blue-black, occasionally pale blue, mouth yellow, extrorse or horizontal at anthesis. Stigma colourless. Ovules 11–32 per ovary. Capsule 8–9 mm long.
Recognised by its gregarious growth habit, annual life cycle, abundant flowers, absence of basal rosettes in flowering plants, and small tap root. The base of each calyx lobe is recurved and there is a prominent ridge on the calyx below each sinus. The calyx lobes are mostly short and wide, and very unequal. The flowers are small (12–13 mm long) as are the basal leaves (to 20 mm long).
January – April
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 endemic which is sparsely to locally abundant. There are no known threats. All the known populations occur within Kahurangi National Park.
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)
filipes: Thread-like stalks
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