E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Gentiana affinis Griseb.
prairie gentian (pleated gentian)
Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ian Gardiner  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #24509)

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Distribution of Gentiana affinis
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Gentiana affinis var. affinis

Species Information

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Perennial herb from a thick, fleshy root; stems 1-several, erect to decumbent at the base, usually tufted, minutely short-hairy, grooved, 10-35 cm tall.
Stem leaves opposite, egg-shaped to oblong-lanceolate, 6-12 pairs, 1-4 cm long, 4-9 mm wide, margins rough-hairy, lowest few pairs reduced to bracts.
Inflorescence a raceme-like terminal cluster of few to numerous, stalked flowers; corollas blue or bluish, 2-3 cm long, narrowly funnelform, the lobes egg-shaped, spreading, the plaits between the lobes cleft and unevenly toothed; calyx tubes 3-9 mm long with 5 flaring unequal lobes 4-6 mm long; stamens shorter than the corolla tubes; anthers 2.5-4 mm long.
Capsules, 1-chambered; seeds elliptic, flattened with broad, winged margins, finely net-veined.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist, often saline meadows, grassy slopes and forest openings in the lowland, montane and subalpine zones; rare in SC and SE BC, E to MB and S to AZ, CA and MX.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Gentiana affinis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 1240 1999 2300
Slope Gradient (%) 15 27 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
58 101 290
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
2 3 6
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: ESSF(6), IDF(1), IMA(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Dasystephana affinis (Griseb.) Rydb.
Dasystephana interrupta (Greene) Rydb.
Gentiana affinis var. bigelovii (A. Gray) Kusnez.
Gentiana affinis var. forwoodii (A. Gray) Kusnez.
Gentiana affinis var. major A. Nelson & Kennedy
Gentiana affinis var. ovata A. Gray
Gentiana affinis var. parvidentata Kusnez.
Gentiana bigelovii A. Gray
Gentiana forwoodii A. Gray
Gentiana interrupta Greene
Gentiana oregana Engelm. ex A. Gray
Gentiana rusbyi Greene
Pneumonanthe affinis (Griseb.) W.A. Weber
Pneumonanthe bigelovii (A. Gray) Greene

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References