Erect, unbranched perennial 4-8 dm; basal lvs elliptic-oblong, the blade 1-2 dm, decurrent on the long petiole; cauline lvs sessile, progressively smaller, some broadly clasping at base, often some narrowed below and expanded at the very base; racemes (1-)3(4), 1-2 dm long at maturity, terminating a long, erect common peduncle; cal at anthesis 3-4 mm; cor light blue, 8-12(-16) mm wide, its broadly rounded lobes ±overlapping; mature pedicels 5-15 mm, recurved; nutlets 6-8 mm, uniformly bristly over the rounded outer surface, not margined. Upland woods; s. Conn. and s. N.Y. to O., Ill., Mo., and Okla., s. to Fla. and La. May, June. Var. boreale (Fernald) Cooperr.: Smaller; some cauline lvs usually distinctly petioled; cal at anthesis 2-2.5 mm; cor 5-8 mm wide, its lobes oblong, not overlapping; nutlets 3.5-5 mm. More northern, from Que. and N.B. to n. Conn., N.Y., Mich., Wis., and Minn., w. to B.C. May, June. (C. b.)
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.