Plants and Animals

Gentiana linearis Narrow-leaved gentian

species photo
Charles Peirce
species photo
Daniel C. Nepstad

Key Characteristics

Medium-sized forb (70 cm) of open to partially wooded wetlands in the western Upper Peninsula; leaves opposite, linear (<1 cm wide); tubular flowers blue in terminal clusters and upper leaf axils.

Status and Rank

US Status: No Status/Not Listed
State Status: T - Threatened (legally protected)
Global Rank: G4G5 - Rank is uncertain, ranging from apparently secure to secure
State Rank: S2 - Imperiled


CountyNumber of OccurrencesYear Last Observed
Baraga 2 1981
Keweenaw 2 2009
Marquette 19 2021
Schoolcraft 1 2020

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.


Found primarily in wet meadows, bogs, fens, springy areas, river and stream margins, kettle-holes, and borrow pits in the western Upper Peninsula. It usually occurs in association with granite-derived substrates.

Natural Community Types

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

Abies balsamea (balsam fir), Acer rubrum (red maple), Agrostis scabra (ticklegrass), Alnus incana (speckled alder), Andromeda glaucophylla (bog-rosemary), Calamagrostis canadensis (blue-joint), Carex diandra, C. lasiocarpa, C. stricta, Chamaedaphne calyculata (leatherleaf), Doellingeria umbellata (flat-topped white aster), Drosera rotundifolia (round-leaved sundew), Glyceria canadensis (rattlesnake grass), Ilex verticillata (mountain holly), Iris versicolor (wild blue flag), Larix laricina (tamarack), Lycopus uniflorus (northern bugle weed), Mentha canadensis (wild mint), Myrica gale (sweet gale), Onoclea sensibilis (sensitive fern), Osmunda regalis (royal fern), Picea mariana (black spruce), Pinus strobus (white pine), Rhododendron groenlandicum (Labrador-tea), Rhynchospora alba (beak-rush), Rubus hispidus (swamp dewberry), Solidago uliginosa (bog goldenrod), Sphagnum spp. (sphagnum mosses), Symphyotrichum puniceum (swamp aster), Thalictrum dasycarpum (purple meadow-rue), Thuja occidentalis (northern white-cedar), Triadenum fraseri (marsh St. John's-wort), Vaccinium angustifolium (low sweet blueberry), V. myrtilloides (Canada blueberry), V. oxycoccos (small cranberry).

Management Recommendations

Sensitive to hydrological alterations and requires protection from both extreme flooding and excessive drainage.

Survey Methods

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

  • Meander search

    • Survey Period: From first week of July to first week of September


Survey References

  • Elzinga, C.L., D.W. Salzer, and J.W. Willoughby. 1998. Measuring and Monitoring Plant Populations. The Nature Conservancy and Bureau of Land Management, Denver. BLM Technical Reference 1730-1. 477pp.
  • Goff, G.F., G.A. Dawson, and J.J. Rochow. 1982. Site examination for Threatened and Endangered plant species. Environmental Management 6(4): 307-316
  • Nelson, J.R. 1984. Rare Plant Field Survey Guidelines. In: J.P. Smith and R. York. Inventory of rare and endangered vascular plants of California. 3rd Ed. California Native Plant Society, Berkeley. 174pp.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1986. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques For Impact Assessment. Natural Areas Journal 5(3):18-30.
  • Nelson, J.R. 1987. Rare Plant Surveys: Techniques for Impact Assessment. In: Conservation and management of rare and endangered plants. Ed. T.S. Elias. California Native Plant Society, Sacramento. 8pp.

Technical References

  • Gleason, H. A., and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. Second edition. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 910pp.
  • Gray, A. 1950. Gray's Manual of Botany; eighth ed. Van Nostrand Reinghold, New York. 1632pp.
  • Holmgren, N.H. 1998. Illustrated Companion to Gleason and Cronquist's Manual. Illustrations of the vascular plants of Northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. New York Botanical Garden, Bronx. 937pp.
  • Scoggan, H.J. 1978. The Flora of Canada. National Museum of Natural Science Publications Botany 4: 1711pp.
  • Voss, E.G. 1996. Michigan Flora. Part III. Dicots (Pyrolaceae-Compositae). Bulletin of the Cranbrook Institute of Science and University of Michigan Herbarium. 622pp.