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See also Frasera speciosa.
Frasera albomarginata
Frasera albomarginata.  SynonymSwertia albomarginata. (White-margined Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Rimrock, openings. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 15, 2006.

The basal leaves of Frasera albomarginata are a fairly common, and very attractive, Four Corners flora sight.  Leaves in the basal rosettes are white-margined ("albo marginata") and often wavy.  A stout stem branches and spreads to support numerous green/white flowers.  The plant is typically eight to sixteen inches tall, but following the record breaking drought of the winter of 2005-2006, plants were no more than eight inches tall.

Sereno Watson named this plant in 1871 from a specimen collected by Edward Palmer near St. George, Utah, in 1870.  The genus was named by Thomas Walter for 18th century British nurseryman and plant collector, John Fraser.  (More biographical information about Fraser.)

  

Frasera albomarginata

Frasera albomarginata

Frasera albomarginata.  SynonymSwertia albomarginata. (White-margined Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Rimrock, openings. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 15, 2006.

Frasera albomarginata

Frasera albomarginata.  SynonymSwertia albomarginata. (White-margined Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Rimrock, openings. Spring.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness Area, New Mexico, November 11, 2009.

The dried plant persists for months.

Frasera paniculata
Frasera paniculata.  SynonymFrasera utahensis,  Swertia utahensis. (Utah Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Sands, openings. Spring.
Hunter Canyon, Utah, May 3, 2005.

This slender giant grows to nearly four feet and puts out an abundance of small, green/white flowers.  (The blooms have evaded me, but someday I'll have photos of them on this web site.  Keep tuned.)  Basal leaves are much longer and wider than those of Frasera albomarginata (above).

This plant is often misidentified in Utah Canyon Country wildflower books and National Parks as Frasera albomarginata.  The white-margined basal leaves lead to this misidentification; the name "albomarginata" belongs to the plant shown at the top of this page, but the basal leaves of F. paniculata are also white-margined. "Paniculata" refers to the flower arrangement, a panicle, i.e., a branched raceme in which flowers mature from the bottom upwards.

John Torrey named this plant in 1857 from a specimen collected by John Bigelow on the Whipple Railroad Survey in 1853 on "Sand-bluffs, Inscription Rock, Zuni County," New Mexico, in what is now El Moro National Monument.  (Quotation from Intermountain Flora.)  The genus was named by Thomas Walter for 18th century British nurseryman and plant collector, John Fraser.  (More biographical information about Fraser.)

Frasera paniculata
Frasera paniculata.  SynonymFrasera utahensis,  Swertia utahensis. (Utah Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Sands, openings. Spring.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness Area, New Mexico, April 23, 2007.

Frasera paniculata
Frasera paniculata.  SynonymFrasera utahensis,  Swertia utahensis. (Utah Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Sands, openings. Spring.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness Area, New Mexico, May 21, 2009.

This F. paniculata has its troubles:  erosion has exposed the 3/4 inch thick root and critters have eaten chunks out of the leaves.  It is still quite alive with flower buds.

Frasera paniculata.  SynonymFrasera utahensis,  Swertia utahensis. (Utah Frasera).
Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Semi-desert. Sands, openings. Spring.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness Area, New Mexico, April 29, 2006.

Last year's dry seed pods are supported by a slender stem and stand four feet above the dry basal leaves. (Stem and basal leaves are center right in the blurred background.)

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Frasera albomarginata

Range map for Frasera paniculata