Frasera speciosa

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Frasera speciosa
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Frasera
Species: F. speciosa
Binomial name
Frasera speciosa
Douglas ex Griseb.
  • Frasera angustifolia
  • F. macrophylla
  • F. stenosepala
  • Swertia radiata

Frasera speciosa is a species of flowering plant in the Gentian Family (Gentianaceae) known by the common names elkweed,[citation needed] deer's ears[citation needed], and monument plant.[1]

Range and habitat[edit]

It is native to the western United States, where it grows in mountain forests, woodlands, and meadows.


Growth pattern[edit]

It is a perennial herb growing from a woody base surrounded by rosettes of large leaves that measure up to 50 centimeters long by 15 wide.

Stems and leaves[edit]

It produces a single erect stem which can reach two meters in height.

Inflorescense and fruit[edit]

The stem bears whorls of lance-shaped, pointed leaves smaller than those at the base. The plant is monocarpic, growing for several years and only flowering once before it dies.[2] Flowering is synchronized among plants in a given area, with widespread, picturesque blooms occurring periodically.[3] It is not known why some plants in an area will not flower in a mass flowering event, or what cues the plants rely on to initiate flowering. The inflorescence is a tall, erect panicle with flowers densely clustered at the top and then spread out in interrupted clusters below. Each flower has a calyx of four pointed sepals and a corolla of four pointed lobes each one to two centimeters long. The corolla is yellow-green with purple spots and each lobe has two fringed nectary pits at the base. There are four stamens tipped with large anthers and a central ovary.

It blooms from July to August.[1]


  1. ^ a b Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Karen Wiese, 2013, p. 196
  2. ^ Weid, A. and C. Galen. (1998). Plant parental care: Conspecific nurse effects in Frasera speciosa and Cirsium scopulorum. Ecology 79 1657–1668.
  3. ^ Taylor, O. R. and D. W. Inouye. (1985). Synchrony and periodicity of flowering in Frasera speciosa (Gentianaceae). Ecology 66 521–527.

External links[edit]