Etymology: Gentiana: named after Gentius, King of Illyria, who around 500 B.C. found the roots of the herb yellow gentian or bitterwort to have a healing effect on his malaria-stricken troops
Plants: erect, perennial, 1'-3' tall forb, smooth, usually unbranched
Leaves: mostly stalkless, lance-shaped
Flowers: white to blue, 5-parted, 1 1/4" -1 3/4" long, top closed, folds between the petals; inflorescence a cluster, those from the top are stalked, those from the leaf axils often stalkless; blooms Aug.-Oct.
Habitat: full to partial sun; moderate moisture to wet; prairies, meadows, woods; in sandy, loamy soil
Conservation Status: Native