Marsh Felwort – Lomatogonium rotatum

Alaska Wildflowers | Purple/Blue

Marsh felwort flowers in Fairbanks, Alaska.

Marsh Felwort

Lomatogonium rotatum

Common Names

marsh felwort

Synonyms

Lomatogonium rotatum var. rotatum*
Lomatogonium rotatum ssp. tenuifolium*
Pleurogyne rotata
Swertia rotata

*See note under subspecies below

Subspecies

none

*Regarding subspecies and varieties, Canadensys acknowledges Lomatogonium rotatum var. rotatum and Lomatogonium rotatum ssp. tenuifolium as distinct varieties within the species. In contrast, ITIS considers these to be synonyms, not distinguishing between the varieties.

Genus: Lomatogonium
Family: Gentianaceae
Order: Gentianales
full classification

Duration – Growth Habit

Annual or Biennial – Forb/herb



Identification and Information

Lomatogonium rotatum, a light blue-flowered annual or biennial forb/herb, reaches heights of 10-30 cm and originates from a small, underdeveloped taproot. Its stems stand erect. Both basal and cauline leaves, which are deciduous, are arranged in a rosette along the stems. The basal leaves are oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, while the leaves along the stem are opposite, lanceolate, and measure 1-3 cm in length.

Lomatogonium rotatum features an open raceme-like cluster of flowers, emerging from both terminal and mostly axillary positions on long, slender stalks that extend from the upper leaves. The axillary positions often support multiple flowers, whereas the terminal positions typically host a single flower. The corollas, or petals, are available in shades of blue or white and range in length from 6 to 15 mm. They are divided into 4 to 5 lobes, which are deeply split nearly to the base and are elliptic to egg-shaped, frequently highlighted with purple veins. Each lobe is distinctively marked with a pair of fringed, scale-like appendages at its base. Surrounding the petals, the calyces, or sepals, are deeply divided into 4 to 5 linear to linear-lanceolate lobes, measuring approximately four-fifths the length of the corollas.

The stamens are nearly half the length of the corollas and culminate in anthers that are 2 mm in length. The superior ovary leads to a sessile, ellipsoid fruit that, upon maturation, reveals yellowish or brown capsules 10–15 mm in length.

Uses

For information only (typically historical) – I take no responsibility for adverse effects from the use of any plant.

No traditional uses and most likely not edible.


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Distribution and Habitat

Lomatogonium rotatum has widespread circumpolar or circumboreal distribution across the northern hemisphere. In North America, this includes Alaska and all of Canada except for Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. It is present in some of the Rocky Mountain states in the US but is listed as critically imperiled or imperiled in most. Its distribution extends through Greenland, Iceland, Russia, Mongolia, and China.

The plant lives in moist areas like marshes, wet meadows or tundra, shorelines, and alpine zones.

Classification

RankScientific Name (Common Name)
KingdomPlantae (plantes, Planta, Vegetal, plants)
   SubkingdomViridiplantae (green plants)
      InfrakingdomStreptophyta (land plants)
         SuperdivisionEmbryophyta 
            DivisionTracheophyta (vascular plants, tracheophytes)
               SubdivisionSpermatophytina (spermatophytes, seed plants, phanérogames)
                  ClassMagnoliopsida 
                     SuperorderAsteranae 
                        OrderGentianales 
                           FamilyGentianaceae (gentians, gentianes)
                              GenusLomatogonium
                                 SpeciesLomatognium rotatum

References and Further Reading

Guidebook

Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers, Pratt, Verna E. pg 10 (Swertia perennis)

Pratt, V. (1991). Field Guide to Alaskan Wildflowers: Commonly Seen Along Highways and Byways. Alaskakrafts Publishing.

Classification and Taxonomy

ITIS (n.d.). Lomatogonium rotatum. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=29992#null

Canadian Museum of Nature (n.d.). Lomatogonium rotatum. Canadian Museum of Nature. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://nature.ca/aaflora/data/www/geloro.htm

Map and Distribution

GBIF (n.d.). Lomatogonium rotatum. GBIF. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://www.gbif.org/species/3170177

NatureServe (n.d.). Lomatogonium rotatum. NatureServe Explorer. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://explorer.natureserve.org/Taxon/ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.127992/Lomatogonium_rotatum

Description and Information

Canadian Museum of Nature (n.d.). Lomatogonium rotatum. Canadian Museum of Nature. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://nature.ca/aaflora/data/www/geloro.htm

E-Flora BC (n.d.). Lomatogonium rotatum. Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia. Retrieved November 30, 2023, from https://linnet.geog.ubc.ca/Atlas/Atlas.aspx?

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