Gentiana puberulenta J.S. Pringle

Prairie Gentain


CC = 9
CW = 5
MOC = 50

© SRTurner

Family - Gentianaceae

Habit - Perennial forb.

Stems - Ascending to erect, to 50 cm, often multiple from base, minutely hairy in longitudinal lines.

Gentiana_puberulenta_stem.jpg Stem and leaves.

© SRTurner

Leaves - Opposite, clasping, simple, entire, lanceolate, to 6 cm, margins minutely hairy near base.

Gentiana_puberulenta_stem2.jpg Stem and leaves at node.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_puberulenta_leaf2.jpg Leaf abaxial.

© SRTurner

Inflorescence - Terminal solitary flowers or small clusters.

Gentiana_puberulenta_inflorescence.jpg Inflorescence.

© SRTurner

Flowers - Calyces basally fused, 5-lobed, 11-36 mm long, the linear to lanceolate lobes shorter than the tube. Corollas blue, funnelform, to 4 cm, free portion 5-lobed, 6-10 mm long, spreading at maturity. Petaloid appendages between the lobes toothed, pleated. Anthers free. Ovaries short-stalked, with inconspicuous nectary glands at bases, the style short or absent, the stigmas 2, persistent.

Gentiana_puberulenta_calyces2.jpg Calyces.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_puberulenta_calyx.jpg Calyces.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_puberulenta_flower.jpg Flower.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_puberulenta_corolla.jpg Corolla.

© SRTurner

Gentiana_puberulenta_corolla2.jpg Corolla.

© SRTurner

Fruits - Capsules, longitudinally dehiscent by 2 valves.

Flowering - September - November.

Habitat - Prairies, savannas, glades, usually on calcareous substrate.

Origin - Native to the U.S.

Lookalikes - None.

Other info. - This beautiful and unmistakable species is one of three Missouri members of the Gentiana genus. It is easily differentiated from the other two by having corollas which are spread open at maturity. The rich, deep blue color of the corollas is a striking and uncommon hue among our flora. Although the plant occurs across most of the state, it is not common anywhere. Missouri is near the southern end of its natural range, which extends northward into Minnesota and North Dakota.

Photographs taken at Shaw Nature Reserve, Franklin County, MO, 10-3-2011, 9-8-2012, 9-27-2013, 9-12-2018, and at Victoria Glade, Jefferson County, MO, 10-7-2020 (SRTurner).