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Gentiana autumnalis Linnaeus. Section: Pneumonanthe. Pinebarren Gentian. Phen: Late Sep-mid Jan (rarely at other times of the year, such as spring, in response to fire). Hab: Longleaf pine savannas, pine flatwoods, sandhills, pine barrens, in a variety of sites varying from moist to very xeric, in se. VA, NC, and SC nearly always associated with Pinus palustris and/or Aristida stricta. Dist: This species is a "bimodal endemic", occurring in s. NJ and adjacent DE (at least formerly), and from se. VA south through e. NC to nc. SC.

ID notes: G. autumnalis is often overlooked, since it is very inconspicuous except when in flower, it usually flowers at a season when few botanists are about, and sterile plants greatly outnumber fertile ones. Vegetatively it is extremely distinctive once learned; the leaves are glossy, dark-green, opposite, oblanceolate to ‘oblinear’, and twisted and curved in a manner reminiscent of an airplane propeller.

Origin/Endemic status: Endemic

Taxonomy Comments: The related G. pennelliana Fernald (sometimes reduced to a subspecies of G. autumnalis) is endemic to the FL Panhandle; other siblings, G. bicuspidata (G. Don) Briquet, G. hooperi Pringle, and G. longicollis Nesom, occur in Mexico.

Synonymy: = C, F, FNA14, GW2, K1, K3, K4, RAB, Va, Ho & Liu (2001), Pringle (1967a); = Dasystephana porphyrio (J.F.Gmel.) Small – S; = Gentiana autumnalis L. ssp. autumnalis – Halda (1996); = Gentiana porphyrio J.F.Gmel. – G, Tat; = Pneumonanthe porphyrio (L.) Greene

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Wetland Indicator Status:

  • Atlantic and Gulf Coastal Plain: FACW

Heliophily ?: 8

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image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Scott Ward | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Bruce A. Sorrie | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Keith Bradley | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Jennifer Peterson | Original Image ⭷
image of plant© Gary P. Fleming | Original Image ⭷

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