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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Macoun's Gentian - Gentianopsis macounii
Other Names:  Gentiana macounii, Gentianella crinita ssp. macounii, Gentianopsis procera ssp. macounii, Gentianopsis virgata ssp. macounii

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: No Known Threats
CCVI: Highly Vulnerable

Agency Status
USFS: Species of Conservation Concern in Forests (HLC)


External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is known from several sites along the Rocky Mountain Front.
General Description
Macoun's Gentian is a glabrous annual with erect, simple to few-branched stems that are 5-50 cm high. The basal leaves are 2-3 cm long and lance-shaped with blunt tips. The opposite stem leaves are narrower with pointed tips. A solitary, long-stalked flower occurs at the stem tip, while others may arise from the upper leaf axils. The calyx is 15-25 mm long and has 4 pointed lobes and small, white bumps at the base. The deep blue, tubular corolla is 2-5 cm long and has 4 broad, spreading, fringed lobes. The 4 stamens have hairs at midlength. The fruit is a stalked, narrowly elliptic, many-seeded capsule that is 12-25 mm long.

Lesica (2012) splits out of this species Gentianopsis detonsa, which is diagnosed by the presense of papillae on the ribs of the calyx.

Flowering in August, fruiting in early September.

Diagnostic Characteristics
Gentianopsis dentosa is similar but lacks the small white bumps at the base of the calyx.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Yukon to Quebec, south to BC, MT, and ND. Peripheral.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 17

(Click on the following maps and charts to see full sized version) Map Help and Descriptions
Relative Density



(Observations spanning multiple months or years are excluded from time charts)

Wet, organic soil of calcareous fens in the valley and foothill zones.
Predicted Suitable Habitat Model

This species has a Predicted Suitable Habitat Model available.

To learn how these Models were created see

Ecological Systems Associated with this Species

Threats or Limiting Factors
Threat impact not assigned because threats are not known (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021).

  • Literature Cited AboveLegend:   View Online Publication
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Ament, R.J. 1995. Pioneer Plant Communities Five Years After the 1988 Yellowstone Fires. M.Sc. Thesis. Bozeman, MT: Montana State University. 216 p.
    • Iltis, H.H. 1965. The genus Gentianopsis (Gentianaceae): transfers and phytogeographic comments. Sida 2:129-153.
    • Lesica, P. 1986. Vegetation and flora of Pine Butte fen, Teton County, Montana. The Great Basin Naturalist 46(1): 22-32.
    • Lesica, P. 1991. The Rare Vascular Plants of Pine Butte Swamp Preserve. Unpublished Report to the Nature Conservancy. 15 Pp.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2022. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants, Second Edition. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 779 p.
  • Web Search Engines for Articles on "Macoun's Gentian"
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Citation for data on this website:
Macoun's Gentian — Gentianopsis macounii.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from