Gentiana patula (Kirk) Cheeseman, Chionogentias patula (Kirk) L.G.Adams
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 and Canterbury)
Subalpine or montane in Valley floor and high alpine tussock and other grasslands, in herbfields, on alluvial fans, and along the margins of subalpine scrub margins
Plants biennial and monocarpic, or polycarpic, height in flower 60–370 mm. Root 2.7–6.3 mm diameter at stem base. Caudex unbranched or branched, 25–70 mm long; stolons absent. Flowering stems terminal and lateral, 1–36 per plant, largest flowering stem 1.1–3.6 mm diameter at base, tinted crimson to purple-black, lateral flowering stems decumbent or erect, flowering stem leaves 3–5 pairs per stem, lowest pedicels from near apex of flowering stem. Rosette of leaves distinct from flowering stem leaves, leaves elliptic, 18–44 × 3.5–9.0 mm, green, flat or V-shaped, recurved or not; leaf apex acute; petiole distinct, 10–29 mm long, 1.5–2.5 mm wide at leaf base. Flowering stem leaves ovate, apex acute, base clasping, V-shaped strongly. Pedicels 1 or 2 per leaf axil, 9–35 mm long, 0.8–1.0 mm diameter. Flowers (3–)40–86(–126) per plant, 10–15 mm long. Calyx 5.1–8.5 mm long, green or green tinted purple-black, hairs at calyx–corolla fusion line present; lobes 3.4–6.0 mm long, 1.8–2.6 mm wide at base, plane, apices acute, margins smooth, sinus hairs sparse. Corolla 5.9–16 mm long, white or tinted pink or purple, veins uncoloured or purple; tube 3.0–3.5 mm long; lobes 9.0–11.4 × 5.5–8.0 mm, hairs below sinus present; nectary 0.3–0.8 mm from corolla base. Filaments 4.5–8.8 mm long from corolla base, 0.7–1.0 mm wide. Anthers 1.7–2.4 mm long, anther wall blue-black, mouth yellow or orange-red, extrorse at anthesis or horizontal at anthesis. Stigma colourless or grey-violet. Ovules 24–44 per ovary. Capsule 12–15 mm long.
Most closely related to Gentianella montana from which it is distinguished smaller overall stature; larger number of flowering stems, yet smaller flowers. Most G. montana populations have white flowers without coloured veins, whereas high altitude populations of G. patula have white flowers lower altitude populations flowers with coloured corolla veins
December – May
February - June
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 Commericially 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.