Beautiful Gentian - Showy Gentian
Gentiana catesbaei - Walter
Gentianaceae (Gentian) Family
Coastal Plain Gentian is a native herbaceous perennial in the Gentian family (Gentianaceae). It can be found at scattered locations throughout the state, but is most common in the Coastal Plain. Its preferred habitat is on creek banks, moist ravines, and around springs; constantly moist, organic-rich soil and full shade. It is a perennial with a fibrous root system. The roots are thick and cord like. Stems are from 6-12 inches in length, and are often declining. The stems are unbranched, green in color, and pubescent.
The leaves are opposite, sessile or short petiolate, elliptic to lanceolate in outline, with entire margins. The leaves are usually dark green in color and glabrous.
The flowers are sessile in compact terminal cymes of 1-6 flowers. The calyx is green in color, glabrous, with lobes longer than the tube. The corolla is funnelform and is dark to light blue in color; some flowers are almost white. The corolla lobes part only slightly at the apex, and the flowers never seem to open.
Fruit is a capsule.