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Montana Field Guide

Montana Field Guides

Hiker's Gentian - Gentianopsis simplex
Other Names:  Gentiana simplex, Gentianella simplex

Species of Concern
Native Species

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2
(see State Rank Reason below)
State Threat Score: Unknown
CCVI: Extremely Vulnerable
C-value: 9

Agency Status
USFS: Sensitive - Suspected in Forests (LOLO)
Species of Conservation Concern in Forests (CG)



External Links

State Rank Reason (see State Rank above)
Rare in Montana, where it is known from several widely scattered locations. Current population levels and trends are unknown, though potential threats to known populations appear to be minimal or non-existent at this time. Additional sites are likely to be documented if surveys were to be conducted.
General Description
Hiker's Gentian has erect, usually simple stems that are 10-20 cm tall. The 2-5 pairs of opposite leaves are broadly lance-shaped to ovate and are 1-6 cm long; the upper are longer and narrower. Herbage is glabrous. The flowers are solitary at the ends of the stems. The calyx is 15-20 mm long and has four deep lobes at its top. The deep blue, funnel-shaped corolla is 20-40 mm long, four-parted, and lobed over nearly half its length. The lobes have small teeth along the sides but are rounded and entire-margined at the tips. The notches between the lobes are not plaited or fringed.

Flowering in July-August.

Diagnostic Characteristics
This species can be distinguished from the more common Gentianopsis detonsa by the unbranched stems and entire-margined tips of the corolla lobes, and from G. aquatica by the blue corolla.

Species Range
Montana Range Range Descriptions


Range Comments
Cascades of Oregon south to the Sierra Nevadas of central California, and east through Oregon to south-central and western Montana, Idaho, and Nevada. Peripheral.

Observations in Montana Natural Heritage Program Database
Number of Observations: 22

(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)

Fens, meadows, and seeps, usually in areas of crystalline parent material, in the montane and subalpine 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
Reported threats to Montana's populations of Hiker's Gentian are currently assigned as unknown (MTNHP Threat Assessment 2021). Populations in the vicinity of hiking trails are exposed to trampling by hikers or horses, but impacts are unlikely to lead to measurable population decline, and may benefit its annual life cycle.

  • Additional ReferencesLegend:   View Online Publication
    Do you know of a citation we're missing?
    • Culver, D.R. 1994. Floristic analysis of the Centennial Region, Montana. M.Sc. Thesis. Montana State University, Bozeman. 199 pp.
    • Iltis, H.H. 1965. The genus Gentianopsis (Gentianaceae): transfers and phytogeographic comments. Sida 2:129-153.
    • Lesica, P., M.T. Lavin, and P.F. Stickney. 2012. Manual of Montana Vascular Plants. Fort Worth, TX: BRIT Press. viii + 771 p.
    • 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.
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Citation for data on this website:
Hiker's Gentian — Gentianopsis simplex.  Montana Field Guide.  .  Retrieved on , from