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Classification System: APG IV

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiosperms
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: Core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Lamiids
Ordo: Gentianales

Familia: Gentianaceae
Tribus: Chironieae – Exaceae – Gentianeae – Helieae – Potalieae – Saccifolieae – Voyrieae
Overview of genera

Adenolisianthus – Anthocleista – Aripuana – Bartonia – Bisgoeppertia – Blackstonia – Calolisianthus – Canscora – Canscorinella – Celiantha – Centaurium – Chelonanthus – Chironia – Chorisepalum – Cicendia – Comastoma – Congolanthus – Coutoubea – Cracosna – Crawfurdia – Curtia – Cyrtophyllum – Deianira – Djaloniella – Duplipetala – Enicostema – Eustoma – Exaculum – Exacum – Exochaenium – Fagraea – Faroa – Frasera – Geniostemon – Gentiana – Gentianella – Gentianopsis – Gentianothamnus – Gyrandra – Halenia – Helia – Hockinia – Hoppea – Irlbachia – Ixanthus – Jaeschkea – Karina – Klackenbergia – Kuepferia – Lagenanthus – Lagenias – Latouchea – Lehmanniella – Limahlania – Lisianthius – Lomatogoniopsis – Lomatogonium – Macrocarpaea – Megacodon – Metagentiana – Microrphium – Neblinantha – Neurotheca – Obolaria – Oreonesion – Ornichia – Orphium – Phyllocyclus – Picrophloeus – Potalia – Prepusa – Pterygocalyx – Purdieanthus – Pycnosphaera – Rogersonanthus – Roraimaea – Sabatia – Saccifolium – Schenkia – Schinziella – Schultesia – Sebaea – Senaea – Sinogentiana – Sinoswertia – Sipapoantha – Swertia – Symbolanthus – Symphyllophyton – Tachia – Tachiadenus – Tapeinostemon – Tetrapollinia – Tripterospermum – Urogentias – Utania – Veratrilla – Voyria – Voyriella – Xestaea – Yanomamua – Zeltnera – Zonanthus – Zygostigma

Gentianaceae Juss., Gen. Pl. 141. (1789), nom. cons.

Type genus: Gentiana L. Sp. Pl. 1: 227. (1753)

Note: Circumscription of Helieae is still unresolved.

Jussieu, A.L. de 1789. Genera Plantarum: 141.
Calió, M.F., Lepis, K.B., Pirani, J.R. & Struwe, L. 2017. Phylogeny of Helieae (Gentianaceae): Resolving taxonomic chaos in a Neotropical clade. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 106: 192–208. DOI: 10.1016/j.ympev.2016.09.013 Paywall PDF Reference page.
Govaerts, R. et al. 2020. Gentianaceae in Kew Science Plants of the World online. The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 7. Reference page.
Hassler, M. 2020. Gentianaceae. World Plants: Synonymic Checklists of the Vascular Plants of the World In: Roskovh, Y., Abucay, L., Orrell, T., Nicolson, D., Bailly, N., Kirk, P., Bourgoin, T., DeWalt, R.E., Decock, W., De Wever, A., Nieukerken, E. van, Zarucchi, J. & Penev, L., eds. 2020. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2020 May 7. Reference page.
Struwe, L., Kadereit, J.W., Klackenberg, J., Nilsson, S., Thiv, M., Hagen, K.V. & Albert, V.A. 2002. Systematics, character evolution and biogeography of Gentianaceae, including a new tribal and subtribal classification. 21-309. In: Struwe, L. & Albert, V.A. (eds.), Gentianaceae: Systematics and Natural History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511541865.003 Reference page.
Struwe, L. 2014. Classification and evolution of the family Gentianaceae. Pp. 13-35. In: Rybczynski, J.J., Davey, M.R., & Mikula, A. (eds), The Gentianaceae Volume 1: Characterization and Ecology. Springer, Heidelberg. Full text PDF Reference page.
Struwe, L. 2011. Gentian Research Network: Classification of Gentianaceae. Available on line [1]. Accessed 31 Jan. 2014. Last updated 2011.
Struwe, L. & Pringle, J.S. 2018. Gentianaceae. In Flowering Plants. Eudicots (pp. 453-503). Springer, Cham.
Stevens, P.F. 2001 onwards. Angiosperm Phylogeny Website. Version 14, July 2017 [and more or less continuously updated since]. Online. Reference page. 2014. Gentianaceae. Missouri Botanical Garden. Published on the internet. Accessed: 2014 Jan. 31.

Vernacular names
العربية: جنطيانية
azərbaycanca: Acıçiçəkkimilər
български: Тинтявови
català: Gencianàcies
čeština: Hořcovité
dansk: Ensian-familien
Deutsch: Enziangewächse
English: Gentian family
Esperanto: Gencianacoj
español: Familia de las Gentianas
eesti: Emajuurelised
فارسی: گل‌سپاسیان, جنطیانیه
suomi: Katkerokasvit
français: Gentianacées
עברית: ערבזיים
hrvatski: Sirištarke
hornjoserbsce: Hórkowcowe rostliny
magyar: Tárnicsfélék
日本語: リンドウ科
ქართული: ნაღველასებრნი
қазақша: Көкгүл тұқымдасы
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಜೆನ್ಸಿಯಾನ ಕುಟುಂಬ
한국어: 용담과
kurdî: Famîleya gafiş û melvaşan
Кыргызча: Көкбазиндер
lietuvių: Gencijoniniai
македонски: Линцури
മലയാളം: ജെന്റിയാനാസി
Nederlands: Gentiaanfamilie
norsk: Søterotfamilien
polski: Goryczkowate
Runa Simi: Phallcha yura rikch'aq ayllu
русский: Горечавковые
سنڌي: جنطيانہ
slovenčina: Horcovité
slovenščina: Sviščevke
svenska: Gentianaväxter
తెలుగు: జెన్షియనేసి
ไทย: วงศ์ดอกหรีดเขา
українська: Тирличеві
Tiếng Việt: Họ Long đởm
中文(简体): 龙胆科
中文(繁體): 龍膽科

Gentianaceae is a family of flowering plants of 103 genera and about 1600 species.[2][3]


The family takes its name from the genus Gentiana, named after the Illyrian king Gentius.

Distribution is cosmopolitan.

The family consists of trees, shrubs and herbs showing a wide range of colours and floral patterns. Flowers are actinomorphic and bisexual with fused sepals and petals. The stamens are attached to the inside of the petals (epipetalous) and alternate with the corolla lobes. There is a glandular disk at the base of the gynoecium, and flowers have parietal placentation. The inflorescence is cymose, with simple or complex cymes. The fruits are dehiscent septicidal capsules splitting into two halves, rarely some species have a berry. Seeds are small with copiously oily endosperms and a straight embryo. The habit varies from small trees, pachycaul shrubs to (usually) herbs, with ascending, erect or twining stems. Plants are usually rhizomatous. Leaves opposite, less often alternate or in some species whorled, simple in shape, with entire edges and bases connately attached to the stem. Stipules are absent. Plants usually accumulate bitter iridoid substances; bicollateral bundles are present. Ecologically, partial myco-heterotrophy is common among species in this family with a few genera such as Voyria and Voyriella lacking chlorophyll and being fully myco-heterotrophic.

Some of these plants have limited ranges and are protected under governmental oversight. For example, Gentianella uliginosa (Dune Gentian), which occurs in some limited areas of Wales and Scotland, is a priority species under the Biodiversity Action Plan of the United Kingdom.[4]
Biogeographic history

Gentianaceae are distributed worldwide, but most species occur in temperate zones. According to Merckx et al.,[5] the neotropics were an important area for the early diversification events in Gentianaceae, most of which occurring during the Eocene. However, Pirie et al.[6] suggested that ancient vicariance cannot be ruled out as an explanation for the early origins of Exaceae across Africa, Madagascar and the Indian subcontinent unless a strong assumption is made about the maximum age of Gentianales.


Economically, some species are cultivated ornamental plants and many species yield bitter principles used medicinally and in flavorings.


The family was described for the first time by Antoine Laurent de Jussieu in 1789.


tribe Chironieae (G.Don) Endl.
subtribe Canscorinae Thiv & Kadereit
subtribe Chironiinae G.Don
subtribe Coutoubeinae G.Don
tribe Exaceae Colla
tribe Gentianeae Colla
subtribe Gentianinae G.Don
subtribe Swertiinae (Griseb.) Rchb.
tribe Helieae Gilg
tribe Potalieae Rchb.
subtribe Faroinae Struwe & V.A.Albert
subtribe Lisianthiinae G.Don
subtribe Potaliinae (Mart.) Progel
tribe Saccifolieae (Maguire & Pires) Struwe, Thiv, V.A.Albert & Kadereit
incertae sedis Voyria


Adenolisianthus (Spruce ex Progel) Gilg
Anthocleista Afzel. ex R.Br.
Aripuana Struwe, Maas & V.A.Albert
Bartonia Muhl. ex Willd.
Bisgoeppertia Kuntze
Blackstonia Huds.
Calolisianthus Gilg
Canscora Lam.
Celiantha Maguire
Centaurium Hill
Chelonanthus (Griseb.) Gilg
Chironia L.
Chorisepalum Gleason & Wodehouse
Cicendia Adans.
Comastoma Toyok.
Congolanthus A.Raynal
Coutoubea Aubl.
Cracosna Gagnep.
Crawfurdia Wall.
Curtia Cham. & Schltdl.
Cyrtophyllum Reinw.
Deianira Cham. & Schltdl.
Djaloniella P.Taylor
Duplipetala Thiv
Enicostema Blume
Eustoma Salisb.
Exaculum Caruel
Exacum L.
Exochaenium Griseb.
Fagraea Thunb.
Faroa Welw.
Frasera Walter
Geniostemon Engelm. & A.Gray
Gentiana Tourn. ex L.
Gentianella Moench
Gentianopsis Ma
Gentianothamnus Humbert
Gyrandra Griseb.
Halenia Borkh.
Helia Mart.
Hockinia Gardner
Hoppea Willd.
Irlbachia Mart.
Ixanthus Griseb.
Jaeschkea Kurz
Karina Boutique
Klackenbergia Kissling
Kuepferia Adr.Favre
Lagenanthus Gilg
Lagenias E.Mey.
Latouchea Franch.
Lehmanniella Gilg
Limahlania K.M.Wong & Sugumaran
Lisianthius P.Browne
Lomatogoniopsis T.N.Ho & S.W.Liu
Lomatogonium A.Braun
Macrocarpaea (Griseb.) Gilg
Megacodon (Hemsl.) Harry Sm.
Metagentiana T.N.Ho & S.W.Liu
Microrphium C.B.Clarke
Neblinantha Maguire
Neurotheca Salisb. ex Benth. & Hook.f.
Obolaria L.
Oreonesion A.Raynal
Ornichia Klack.
Orphium E.Mey.
Phyllocyclus Kurz
Picrophloeus Blume
Potalia Aubl.
Prepusa Mart.
Pterygocalyx Maxim.
Purdieanthus Gilg
Pycnosphaera Gilg
Rogersonanthus Maguire & B.M.Boom
Roraimaea Struwe, S.Nilsson & V.A.Albert
Sabatia Adans.
Saccifolium Maguire & Pires
Schenkia Griseb.
Schinziella Gilg
Schultesia Mart.
Sebaea Sol. ex R.Br.
Senaea Taub.
Sinogentiana Adr.Favre & Y.M.Yuan
Sinoswertia T.N.Ho, S.W.Liu & J.Q.Liu
Sipapoantha Maguire & B.M.Boom
Swertia L.
Symbolanthus G.Don
Symphyllophyton Gilg
Tachia Aubl.
Tachiadenus Griseb.
Tapeinostemon Benth.
Tetrapollinia Maguire & B.M.Boom
Tripterospermum Blume
Urogentias Gilg & Gilg-Ben.
Utania G.Don
Veratrilla Franch.
Voyria Aubl.
Voyriella (Miq.) Miq.
Xestaea Griseb.
Yanomamua J.R.Grant, Maas & Struwe
Zeltnera G.Mans.
Zonanthus Griseb.
Zygostigma Griseb.










Angiosperm Phylogeny Group (2009). "An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III". Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. 161 (2): 105–121. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8339.2009.00996.x.
"Gentianaceae Juss". Plants of the World Online (POWO). Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Retrieved 9 January 2021.
Struwe L, Albert VA (2002). Gentianaceae: systematics and natural history. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-80999-3.
"Report on the Species and Habitat Review (UK BAP) | JNCC Resource Hub". Retrieved 2021-01-31.
Merckx, Vincent S.F.T.; Kissling, Jonathan; Hentrich, Heiko; Janssens, Steven B.; Mennes, Constantijn B.; Specht, Chelsea D.; Smets, Erik F. (2013). "Phylogenetic relationships of the mycoheterotrophic genus Voyria and the implication for the biogeographic history of Gentianaceae". American Journal of Botany. 100 (4): 712–721. doi:10.3732/ajb.1200330. PMID 23535773.
Pirie, Michael; Litsios, Glenn; Bellstedt, Dirk; Salamin, Nicolas; Kissling, Jonathan (2015). "Back to Gondwanaland: can ancient vicariance explain (some) Indian Ocean disjunct plant distributions?". Biology Letters. 11 (6): 20150086. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2015.0086. PMC 4528461. PMID 26063747.

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