Blue or Purple Flowers
Tubular or Bell-Like Flowers )
Gentian Family (Gentianaceae)
Season: mid-June to mid-September
Habitat: All Elevations, but Mainly Subalpine
Height: 10-50 cm
Description: These common high elevation flowers are characterized by erect, tubular, bell-like flowers. This is a very diverse group with many species, a few of which are listed here.
The fringed gentian (G. detonsa) grows in the montane, and sports a single, erect, tubular, purple flower. The plant may grow as high as 40 cm, but the narrow, linear leaves only grow a short distance up the stem.
Northern gentian (G. amarella), ranging from the montane to the subalpine, has numerous pairs of clasping leaves widely spaced along its erect stem. From the base of each of the leaves in the pair, a short stem emerges from which one to several small, tubular flowers bloom. As the flowers fade, they may appear almost pink in colour. The plant may grow up to 50 cm in height.
The most common subalpine gentian is the four-parted gentian (G. propinqua). Its growth form is similar to the fringed gentian, with pairs of leaves from which stems sprout, however the flowers of the four-parted gentian are quite large, up to 2 cm in size. Each flower has a four-parted floral tube from which the plant takes its name.