Gentiana alba
White gentian
Image of Gentiana alba

Photo by Brad Slaughter 

Key Characteristics

Stout forb (50-90 cm) of dry-mesic and mesic prairies and savannas; leaves greenish-yellow, opposite, widest near the base; flowers creamy-white.

Status and Rank

  • State Status: E
  • State Rank: S1
  • Global Rank: G4

Occurrences

County NameNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Cass21999
Kalamazoo21939
Kent11901
St. Clair11900
St. Joseph11838
Washtenaw51981
Distribution map for Gentiana alba

Updated 7/21/2017. Information is summarized from MNFI's database of rare species and community occurrences. Data may not reflect true distribution since much of the state has not been thoroughly surveyed.

Habitat

Found in dry or moist prairies and oak woodlands.

Natural Community Types

Methodology

For each species, lists of natural communities were derived from review of the nearly 6,500 element occurrences in the MNFI database, in addition to herbarium label data for some taxa. In most cases, at least one specimen record exists for each listed natural community. For certain taxa, especially poorly collected or extirpated species of prairie and savanna habitats, natural community lists were derived from inferences from collection sites and habitat preferences in immediately adjacent states (particularly Indiana and Illinois). Natural communities are not listed for those species documented only from altered or ruderal habitats in Michigan, especially for taxa that occur in a variety of habitats outside of the state.

Natural communities are not listed in order of frequency of occurrence, but are rather derived from the full set of natural communities, organized by Ecological Group. In many cases, the general habitat descriptions should provide greater clarity and direction to the surveyor. In future versions of the Rare Species Explorer, we hope to incorporate natural community fidelity ranks for each taxon.

Associated Plants

Big bluestem, little bluestem, cordgrass, prairie coreopsis, wild geranium, pale-leaved sunflower, false boneset, smooth sumac, rosin weed, yellow-pimpernel, hoary vervain, prairie violet, golden alexanders, black oak, white oak, pin oak, hickory, sassafras, service berry, New Jersey tea, beaked hazelnut.

Management

Protect habitat and hydrological and natural disturbance regimes. This species likely requires natural disturbances associated with prairie habitat such as prescribed fire or brush removal to prevent woody plant succession. Significant increases in vegetative and reproductive vigor have been observed following early spring and late fall burns. Much of this habitat type has been lost or severely degraded. Many prairie remnants are vulnerable to common right-of-way maintenance activities such as mowing, herbiciding, and bulldozing.

General Survey Guidelines

Random meander search covers areas that appear likely to have rare taxa, based on habitat and the judgment of the investigator.

Survey Methods

Page Citation

Michigan Natural Features Inventory. 2007. Rare Species Explorer (Web Application). Available online at http://mnfi.anr.msu.edu/explorer [Accessed Sep 20, 2017]

References

Survey References

Technical References

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