Fringed gentian (Gentianopsis barbata)

Dmitry Poltavsky - Gentianopsis barbata

Gentianopsis is a genus of flowering plants in the gentian family known commonly as fringed gentians. These are similar to the gentians of genus Gentiana. Most have flowers which are blue to purple in color. The genus has two centres of diversity, one in central Asia and another in temperate North America. The few representatives that reach the Arctic are morphologically fairly similar but differ in some presumed unrelated characters and are very disjunctly distributed. They have been treated partly as one species, as two, or as several. Six names are involved: Detonsa based on plants from Iceland, Barbata on plants from western Siberia, Nesophila on plants from Quebec, Raupii on plants from the Mackenzie River valley in the Northwest Territories, Richardsonii on plants from east of the Mackenzie River Delta in the Northwest Territories, and Yukonensis on plants from the Yukon Territory. Gentianopsis barbata used in traditional Chinese medicine.