Beautiful Gentian - Showy Gentian
Gentiana decora
Gentianaceae (Gentian) Family

Beautiful Gentian is often called Samson's Snakeroot in error.

The plant is an upright perennial, 6-10 inches tall (usually on the lower end); smooth to the touch. Its preferred habitat is open, flat pine. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region except directly at seashore.

The leaves are opposite on the stem and elongated; smooth; no teeth and no lobes.

The flowers are greenish to white with pale purple streaks on the outside and light green streaks within. The petal tips are usually slightly tinged with purple. The corolla is funnel-shaped and the lobes are loosely ascending. The flowers are almost stalkless and are often borne singly but may also be in compact clusters. Flowers occur in the summer and autumn.

Fruit is a capsule.

The Latin description indicates the plant to be 'beautiful,' which indeed it is. A close relative, Soapwort Gentian, has blue flowers. Beautiful Gentian is thought by some to be a hybrid of the Soapwort and Samson's Snakeroot.

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