Douglas ex Griseb.
Range and habitat
It is native to the western United States, where it grows in mountain forests, woodlands, and meadows.
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
It produces a single erect stem which can reach two meters in height.
Inflorescense and fruit
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. Flowering is synchronized among plants in a given area, with widespread, picturesque blooms occurring periodically. 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.
- Sierra Nevada Wildflowers, Karen Wiese, 2013, p. 196
- Weid, A. and C. Galen. (1998). Plant parental care: Conspecific nurse effects in Frasera speciosa and Cirsium scopulorum. Ecology 79 1657–1668.
- Taylor, O. R. and D. W. Inouye. (1985). Synchrony and periodicity of flowering in Frasera speciosa (Gentianaceae). Ecology 66 521–527.
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