Gentiana andrewsii Griseb.

Closed Gentian


CC = Amb
CW = -3
MOC = 40

© SRTurner

Family - Gentianaceae

Habit - Perennial forb.

Stem - Ascending to erect, to 70 cm, glabrous, sometimes multiple from base.

Gentiana_andrewsii_stem.jpg Stem and node.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Opposite, sessile and somewhat clasping, lanceolate to ovate, to 8.5 cm, simple, entire, with minutely ciliate margins, otherwise glabrous.

Gentiana_andrewsii_leaves.jpg Stem and leaves.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_andrewsii_leaf1.jpg Ciliate leaf margin.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_andrewsii_leaf2.jpg Leaf abaxial.

© SRTurner

Flowers - 5-merous. Calyces tubular, to 25 mm, the lobes lanceolate and usually shorter than the tube. Corollas tubular, to 4 cm, blue to violet, closed at maturity. Free portion of corolla lobes inconspicuous, 1-3 mm long. Anthers often fused. Pistil 1 per flower, of 2 fused carpels, the ovaries superior, 1-locular, short-stalked, with inconspicuous nectary glands at bases, the style short or absent, the stigmas 2, persistent.

Gentiana_andrewsii_flowers.jpg Flowers.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_andrewsii_calyces.jpg Calyces.

© SRTurner


© SRTurner

Gentiana_andrewsii_flowers2.jpg Top view.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Capsules, longitudinally dehiscent by 2 valves, with numerous seeds.

Flowering - August - October.

Habitat - Forest openings, upland prairies, glades.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - G. saponaria, which occurs in Illinois but has not yet been reported from Missouri.

Other info. - This unmistakable species occurs across much of Missouri, though it is not common anywhere. The photos on this page represent var. dakotica, which ranges into the north-central U.S. and into Canada. This is by far the most prevalent variety in Missouri.

To many people, the flowers appear to be unopened buds; however, in this species the corolla remains closed. The flowers are pollinated by bumblebees, which must force their way through the closed corolla. The plant is known to hybridize with the white species of bottle gentian, G. alba, giving forms with intermediate corolla colors.

Photographs taken at Shaw Nature Reserve, Franklin County, MO, 9-12-2018 and 9-28-2018 (SRTurner).