Scientific Name:
Gentianella vernicosa (Cheeseman) T.N.Ho & S.W.Liu, 23: 65 (1993)
  • Gentiana vernicosa Cheeseman, Man. New Zealand Fl. 1145 (1906)
  • Chionogentias vernicosa (Cheeseman) L.G.Adams, Austral. Syst. Bot. 8: 978 (1995)
  • = Gentiana gracilifolia Cheeseman, Man. New Zealand Fl. 1144 (1906)
  • Gentianella gracilifolia (Cheeseman) P.H.Ho & S.W.Liu, 23: 62 (1993)
  • Chionogentias gracilifolia (Cheeseman) L.G.Adams, Austral. Syst. Bot. 8: 977 (1995)

Plants polycarpic, rarely monocarpic and biennial, height in flower 80–290 mm. Caudex unbranched or branched, 35–120 mm long. Stolons arising from branched caudex occasionally present. Root 1.2–2.0 mm diam. at stem base. Flowering stems terminal on main caudex or its branches, 1–16 per plant, largest flowering stem 1.0–2.5 mm diam. at base, 0.9–2.0 mm diam. when dry, stems tinted purple-black, rarely green, erect or decumbent, flowering stem leaves 3–5 pairs per stem, lowest pedicels from near apex of flowering stem, flowers often solitary on a stem. Rosettes of leaves present but grading to flowering stem leaves, leaves narrowly elliptic, glossy, thick in texture without projecting veins, (12.0–)14.5–25(–31) mm long, (1.8–)2.4–5.7(–6.0) mm wide, green, rarely tinted crimson below, flat or slightly V-shaped, not recurved, apex acute, petiole absent, leaf 1.0–2.2–3.4 mm wide at leaf base. Flowering stem leaves narrowly ovate. Pedicels 1 or 2 per leaf axil, 2–27 mm long, 0.9–1.4 mm diam., 0.5–0.65 mm diam. when dry. Flowers 1–24 per plant, 13.0–18.3 mm long. Calyx 6.8–10.8 mm long, green or tinted purple-black or brown, hairs at calyx–corolla fusion line present; lobes 4.1–8.1 mm long, 1.9–3.2 mm wide at base, plane, apices acute, margins smooth, sinus hairs absent, sparse, or abundant. Corolla (10.9–)13.6–16.8 mm long, white, veins uncoloured; tube 3.0–4.5 mm long, lobes 8.3–12.5 mm long, 7.0–10.9 mm wide, hairs below sinus present; nectary 0.3–0.6 mm from corolla base. Filaments 7.1–9.4 mm long from corolla base, 0.7–0.9 mm wide. Anthers 1.8–2.9 mm long, anther wall blue-black, mouth yellow, extrorse at anthesis. Stigma colourless. Ovules 28–64 per ovary, turning slightly blue in maturity. Capsule 13–18 mm long. FL (Feb–)Apr.

[Reproduced from Glenny (2004, New Zealand J. Bot. 42: 361-530) with permission from The Royal Society of New Zealand.]

Indigenous (Endemic)
Adams, L.G. 1995: Chionogentias (Gentianaceae) a new generic name for the Australasian 'snow-gentians' and a revision of the Australian species. Australian Systematic Botany 8: 935–1011.
Cheeseman, T.F. 1906: Manual of the New Zealand Flora. Government Printer, Wellington.
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Barkla J.W.; Courtney, S.P.; Champion, P.D.; Perrie, L.R.; Beadel, S.N.; Ford, K.A.; Breitwieser, I.; Schönberger, I.; Hindmarsh-Walls, R.; Heenan, P.B.; Ladley, K. 2018: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2017. New Zealand Threat Classification Series. No. 22. [Not Threatened]
de Lange, P.J.; Rolfe, J.R.; Champion, P.D.; Courtney, S.P.; Heenan, P.B.; Barkla, J.W.; Cameron, E.K.; Norton, D.A.; Hitchmough, R.A. 2013: Conservation status of New Zealand indigenous vascular plants, 2012. New Zealand Threat Classification Series 3. Department of Conservation, Wellington. [Not Threatened]
Glenny, D. 2004: A revision of the genus Gentianella in New Zealand. New Zealand Journal of Botany 42(3): 361–530.
Ho, T.N.; Liu, W. 1993: New combinations, names and taxonomic notes on Gentianella (Gentianaceae) from South America and New Zealand. Bull. Nat. Hist.Mus.Lond.(Bot.) 23: 61–65.