Family, Gentian. Color, blue. Calyx, 4-cleft. Corolla, 2 inches long, a tube with 4 spreading lobes finely fringed around their edges. Stamens, 4, with glands between the filaments at their bases. Style, 1 or none. Stigmas, 2. Leaves, opposite, acute at apex, broader, somewhat rounded or heart-shaped at base. Flowers, solitary, or a few at top of a stem, 1 to 2 feet high, standing stiffly erect. September and October.

The famed beauty of this plant lies chiefly in its clear blue color, for it is scarcely graceful. The corolla opens only in sunshine, and closes upon the approach of a shower. Moist woods, low grounds, often along springy roadsides, Maine to Idaho, southward to Georgia. In places this flower grows abundantly, but it is by no means common. (See illustration, p. 325.)

Fringed gentian (Gentiana crinita)

Fringed gentian (Gentiana crinita)