Gentiana newberryi var. tiogana

Submitted by Weiser on

This small tufted gentian of the damp meadow is native to the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, south through the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California and Nevada.
There are two recognized varieties. The larger more northerly variety is var. newberryi the southern and some what smaller variety is var. tiogana. Both varieties display white or light blue flowers freckled with brown. From what I have read the blue flowers are more common in the northern populations. I know I have never seen them with blue blossoms when I've been out botanizing in the Sierras.
The plants pictured are four inches tall in flower growing at 8500'.


Submitted by Lori S. on Wed, 11/14/2012 - 20:56

Very interesting, John!  We have no white-flowered gentians here; ours tend to be purple to blues (pale to greenish). 
The zoomable map is a nice feature in the Jepson key.

Submitted by Booker on Wed, 11/14/2012 - 23:21

What magnificent blooms, John ... and beautifully photographed.  Another gentian to add to my wants list.  LOL.

Submitted by Weiser on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 07:19

Most of our Gentians are also in shades of blue and purple.

This looks like an easy one. It creeps a little and blooms in late summer. The population in the photos grows on damp sloping meadows that dry through the summer. Not drying completely but by no means wet either. I took a couple of cuttings and they transplanted well.

Submitted by cohan on Thu, 11/15/2012 - 12:13

Nice form and colour!
I checked Alplains as usual with western plants, he lists a blue form:
Gentiana newberryi (Gentianaceae) (8x8,Z4,P,L,3:8w) .................................................... 100 seeds / $4.00 58352.22 (W) Trinity Co., CA, 7900ft, 2408m. On short stalks over small rosettes are borne dark blue, fringed flowers with darker stripes in the throat and speckles on the petals. On volcanic ultramfic soils near timberline

[Moderator edit to fix link.]

Submitted by Mark McD on Sat, 11/17/2012 - 18:30

I love the white form with green speckles and dark bands of color on the outside, but the Alplains blue form is exquisite!

Submitted by Weiser on Sat, 11/17/2012 - 20:55

I have to agree blue gentians are amazing. I hope I come across a blue newberryi in bloom sometime.

Submitted by Hoy on Sun, 11/18/2012 - 00:03

I do like the white form though! Here only some rare, small, northern species have whitish flowers. Had been exiting to come across a white form of the commoner ones once!

Submitted by cohan on Sun, 11/18/2012 - 15:37

I do like both forms, though agree with what I think Trond is saying- to me the white seems more exotic- and I do love white flowers with a hint of  other shades...
I sowed seed of a number of Gentians early last spring, nothing happened this summer, hoping for some action next spring...