Gentiana andrewsii Griseb.

Bottle Gentian, Closed Gentian

Gentiana andrewsii plant

Family - Gentianaceae

Stem - To 70 cm, ascending or erect, glabrous, sometimes multiple from base.

Gentiana_andrewsii_stem.jpgStem and node.

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

Gentiana_andrewsii_leaves.jpgStem and leaves.

Gentiana_andrewsii_leaf1.jpgCiliate leaf margin.

Gentiana_andrewsii_leaf2.jpgLeaf abaxial.

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_flowers2.jpgTop view.

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.

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).