[The Genus Frasera East of the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and Washington]

Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue

Frasera speciosa

Synonym: Swertia radiata

Flower of Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum)

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of giant Frasera as seen from Meacham, OR...............June 25, 2008.

Characteristics:

1. 4-petaled flowers have their petals widely reflexed outward. The flowers are whitish to yellow-green, with a dark bluish to purplish mottling.

2. Flowers are located in loose to tight racemes on elongated stems.

3. Stems are thick, erect, and stiff.

4. The basal leaves are linear-oblanceolate in shape, to occasionally spatulate.

5. The cauline (stem) leaves are in whorls of 3 to 5 leaves. They are much reduced upwards on the stem, and linear-oblanceolate in shape. The basal leaves are much larger (3-15 cm long)


Habitat:

A plant of open to wooded slopes and valleys, found well up into the mountains, including in alpine habitats.


Range:

Giant Frasera is found from eastern Washington southwards through eastern Oregon into California and to northern Mexico, and extending eastward to the Dakotas and New Mexico.


Sideview of flower of Frasera speciosa - Sideview of calyx and petals of Frasera speciosa - Frasera speciosa

Close-up images of the flowers and habitat of giant Frasera as seen from Meacham, OR........June 25, 2008.

Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum)

A view showing typical grassland habitat of giant frasera as seen at the head of Kiger Gorge, Steens Mountain........July 11, 2014.

Flowers of Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum) - Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum)

Inflorescence of Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum) - Sideview of a flower of Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum)

Giant frasera as seen on slopes surrounding the east and north side of Wildhorse Lake, Steens Mountain.........July 10, 2014.

Elkweed, Giant Frasera, Giant Swertia, Deer Tongue: Frasera speciosa (Synonyms: Frasera angustifolia, Frasera macrophylla, Frasera speciosa var. angustifolia, Frasera speciosa var. stenosepala, Swertia radiata, Swertia radiata var. macrophylla, Tesseranthium angustifolium, Tesseranthium macrophyllum, Tesseranthium radiatum)

First year growth of lower leaves of giant frasera as seen along the Tenderfoot Trail #1819 east of the junction with Trail #1828, Eagle Cap Wilderness.......August 12, 2018.

Frasera speciosa

The photo above shows a close-up of the flower of giant Frasera from the Steens Mt, central Oregon........late June, 1997.

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Giant frasera asseen near the summit of the Steens Mt....... August 3, 1995.

Paul Slichter