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, 8"-20" tall forb, minutely hairy, usually unbranched
Leaves: mostly stalkless, usually widest below the middle, opposite, slightly hairy
Flowers: blue but occasionally white with blue markings, 5-parted, 1 1/4"-2 1/3" wide, top widely open, folds between the petals; inflorescence a cluster, those from the top are stalked, those from the leaf axils usually stalkless; blooms Aug.-Oct.
Habitat: dry; prairies, woods; in limy, sandy soil
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 9 Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Illinois Wildflowers: Wonderful photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leaf arrangement key