Rocky Mountain Fringe Gentian

Yellowstone National Park, Gardner Hole, September 2012

Best guess from research

General: hairless annual 10-35 cm tall, stems usually several from the base, simple or branched.

Leaves: numerous in a basal tuft, oblanceolate to spatulate, 1.5-4 cm long, stem leaves opposite, 2-4 pairs, narrowly lanceolate to oblong or oblanceolate.

Flowers: terminal on long, naked stalks and usually also from leaf axils with a pair of scarcely reduced, leaflike bracts at or below midlength. Calyx 15-25 mm long, the 4 lobes pointed, about equaling the tube. Corolla 3.5-5.5 cm long, deep blue or purplish, glandular at the base between the bses of the filaments, the 4 lobes about equal to the tube, oblong-obovate, ragged at the tip and the sides. Stamens slightly shorter than, and inserted midlength of the corolla tube, the joined portion wing-edged, the free portion thin and flat. Anthers oblong, 3-4 mm long. Style comparatively slender, 4-6 mm long, the stigma lobed, broad and flattened, comb-like fringed.

Flowering time: July-August.

Fruits: capsules, the seeds prism-shaped, about 0.5 mm long, finely honey-combed, dark-brown.

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