categoryZEvergreen Evergreen List 

KOCH'S GENTIAN

Gentiana acaulis

Gentian Family [Gentianaceae]

month8apr month8april month8may month8jun month8june

category
category8Evergreen
status
statusZnative
flower
flower8blue
inner
inner8white
inner
inner8green
morph
morph8actino
petals
petalsZ5
type
typeZtrumpet
stem
stem8round
rarity
rarityZrare

20th April 2013, Buckland Hills, Surrey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Up to 6cm tall with most of the height being taken up by a trumpet-shaped and upwardly-directly extremely long inflorescence. [The specimens from Bulgaria shown much further below do not seem as long as this one].


20th April 2013, Buckland Hills, Surrey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Flower is deep-blue with five petals. The tips are unusually white here probably due to frost damage. The inside of the tube of the flower has five broad greenish-grey stripes.


20th April 2013, Buckland Hills, Surrey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
From the outside the petals have fine darker veins and greenish-white markings where the stripes are inside.


20th April 2013, Buckland Hills, Surrey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Within the flower the green-grey stripes are covered in un-usual small raised pimples.


20th April 2013, Buckland Hills, Surrey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The lower half of the long linearly-tapered flower has darker spots visible from outside (probably due to more 'pimples' inside). The sepal tube is light-green.


20th April 2013, Buckland Hills, Surrey. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Leaves short and alternate, lanceolate to oblanceolate, clasping the stem.


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
And then 4 come along at once. The difference in colour between these specimens and the others may be real, or it may be a slight colour temperature setting variation within the camera.


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The sepal teeth of specimens of Koch's Gentian seem to vary a bit, even on the internet. These teeth are more pronounced than most. A slight mid-riff bulge in the petal is in evidence here.


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
A specimen with a prominent mid-riff bulge.


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
Some specimens may have a bulge in the 'tapered' part followed by an inflexion before the final flare. In this specimen the bulge in the horn is more pronounced than in others - it must play havoc with its acoustic properties creating all sorts of undesirable anharmonic resonances ;-)


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The horn several parallel rows of dark-blue dots on the inside of the horn.


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The style has a pinkish style near the end terminating with a pale-green stigma.


1st June 2015, Bavaria. Photo: © Dawn Nelson
The pale-green stigma.


Uniquely identifiable characteristics

Distinguishing Feature : The extreme length of the single trumpet shaped flower rising almost directly from ground level to about 6cm, a unique feature.

Not to be semantically confused with :  Koch Snowflake [a geometric structure with similar name].

So rare it is omitted from most UK wild flower books. Originally known from the Alps where it avoided growing on chalk soils (a calcifuge - a chalk hater) it was planted in parts of Surrey in 1960 and now grows wild on chalk grassland as a calciphyte (chalk lover)! Only found in one single hectad. So it looks like it has the genes to enable it to swap allegiances between liking or dis-liking soil alkalinity, an adaption which enables it to grow on both types of soil given enough time to 'acclimatise' itself.


  Gentiana acaulis  ⇐ Global Aspect ⇒ Gentianaceae  

Distribution
 family8Gentian family8Gentianaceae
 BSBI maps
genus8Gentiana
Gentiana
(Gentians)

KOCH'S GENTIAN

Gentiana acaulis

Gentian Family [Gentianaceae]