West Highland Flora

Autumn Gentian


Gentianella amarella

 

Gentianella amarella ssp septentrionalis

Photo Carl Farmer
(6 Aug 2005 Bettyhill)
Flower c 12 mm across

Rare in limestone grassland, but commoner in the far north of the area.

Plants c 5-30 cm tall.  Flower c 12-20 mm long including calyx.

ID: Like Field Gentian it has a circle of long hairs in the centre of the corolla, but unlike that species the calyx lobes are well separated, not overlapping.

Other features: Annual.  Can have 4 or 5 petals and sepals per flower.  Our plants probably all belong to the distinctive northern subspecies septentrionalis which is endemic to the UK and almost confined to the far north of Scotland.  Its flowers are white, or faintly purple, on the inside, and reddish-purple on the outside.  The first 4 pictures here are of that subspecies and the bottom picture is of the southern subspecies amarella.

 

Gentianella amarella ssp septentrionalis

Photo Carl Farmer
(6 Aug 2005 Bettyhill)
RH open flower c 8.5 mm across as seen

 

Gentianella amarella ssp septentrionalis

Photo Carl Farmer
(6 Aug 2005 Bettyhill)
Lowest LH fr c 15 mm tall from calyx base

  Gentianella amarella ssp septentrionalis

Photo Carl Farmer
(6 Aug 2005 Bettyhill)
Flower c 4 mm across as seen

 

Gentianella amarella ssp amarella

Photo Carl Farmer
(16 Sep 2005 Rotherham)
Upper fl c 1.9 cm long incl calyx

The southern subspecies amarella, with purple flowers


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