Vascular Plants of North Carolina
Account for Striped Gentian - Gentiana villosa   L.
Members of Gentianaceae:
Members of Gentiana with account distribution info or public map:
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Section 6 » Order Gentianales » Family Gentianaceae
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DistributionGenerally throughout the Piedmont and southern Mountains; scattered in the northern Coastal Plain.

This is an Eastern to Southeastern species, found from PA and IN south to northern FL and LA.
AbundanceFairly common in the Piedmont, and in much of the southern Mountains. Uncommon in the northern and central Coastal Plain, south to Jones County. May be absent from the northern Mountains, and definitely absent from the southern Coastal Plain.
HabitatThis species favors upland hardwood or mixed forests, only widely scattered and not growing in colonies. It seldom is found in rich woods, lower slopes, or in bottomlands.
PhenologyBlooms from late August to November, and fruits shortly after flowering.
IdentificationThis is a gentian that is quite different from others, in that it has dark green, leathery leaves that are oblanceolate or obovate, with the widest part above the middle of the leaf, tapering to the base. There are several paired leaves on the stem, which grows about 1-1.5 feet tall. The flower cluster at the top of the stem has pale greenish-white to dull white corollas, striped purple on the inside, and the flowers somewhat closed to somewhat open. In nearly all of the state, this is the only white-flowered gentian, and the dark green leaves that are widest above the middle are unique with the NC gentians. When walking through an upland forest in late summer or fall, you may encounter this species, often just the stem without flowers.
Taxonomic CommentsNone

Other Common Name(s)None
State RankS4
Global RankG4
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US Status
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Jimmy RandolphSandhills Game Land, mesic ecotone of a streamhead. 19 Oct 2023. RichmondPhoto_natural
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