Gentianaceae
Gentiana calycosa

Explorer's Gentian

Clumps of prostrate to upright stems. Leaves sessile on stem, egg-shaped to round. Flowers in top set of leaves 1–3, sessile, facing upward, deep blue, often with yellow spots, petals forming wide-open bell, 5 lobes abruptly pointed at tips. Between petals, appendages are divided into 2 triangular sections that abruptly become long and pointed only at tip. Calyx lobe margins are finely toothed. Grows on creek banks in wet mountain meadows at mid to high elevations. Gentiana is named for King Gentius of Illyria, who lived around 500 BC. It is alleged he discovered medicinal uses for G. lutea, from which a tonic of bitters is still made.

  • Rarity: Locally Common
  • Flowering Time: Late Summer-Autumn
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 8--20 inches
  • Habitat: Bog/Fen/Wetland, Meadow, Alpine, Subalpine, Moist Riverbanks
  • Found In: Wallowas, West Gorge, Mt. Rainier NP, Olympic NP, N Cascades NP
  • Native: Yes