A handsome plant, though rather coarse, from two to six feet tall, with a pale glossy stem, very stout, sometimes over two inches across at the base, and very smooth, pale green leaves, in whorls of four and six, the lower ones sometimes a foot long. The flowers are mixed with the leaves all along the upper part of the stem, but mostly crowded at the top in a pyramidal cluster about six inches long, and are each nearly an inch and a half across, with a greenish or bluish-white corolla, the lobes bordered with violet and dotted with purple, and on each lobe two glands covered by a fringed flap, resembling a small petal, these fringes forming a sort of cross on the corolla. The four stamens stand stiffly out between the corolla-lobes and the general effect of the flower is so symmetrical that it suggests an architectural or ecclesiastical ornament. Though the flowers are not bright, this plant is decorative on account of its luxuriant size and pale foliage, and if Mr. Burbank could make the flowers clear white or purple it would be magnificent. It grows in the western mountains, as far east as Dakota and New Mexico. The finest I ever saw were on an open slope, in a high pass in the Wasatch Mountains, where they reared their pale spires proudly far above the surrounding herbage.
Columbo-Frasera. speciosa. GENTIAN FAMILY. Gentianaceae.