PLANTS: Annual, biennial or perennial herbs. STEMS: erect, glabrous. LEAVES sessile and somewhat clasping or petioled, often forming a basal rosette. FLOWERS: 4-merous, large, solitary, sessile or terminal on elongated pedicels, the buds ellipsoid or ovoid-ellipsoid, quadrangular; calyx cylindric-campanulate, the lobes usually in pairs unequal in size and shape; corolla tube cylindric-campanulate; lobes oblong, ovate-oblong, spatulate, the margins entire or the apex erose-dentate becoming fimbriate along the sides and entire toward the base; stamens 4; pistil stipitate, fusiform to cylindric. SEEDS: elliptic to cylindric, densely papillate. NOTES: 26 spp.; n temperate regions of N. Amer and Eurasia, s in mts to c Mex. (Gentian + Greek apsis = appearance). REFERENCES: Mason, Charles T. 1998 Gentianaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 30(2): 84.
Fls 4-merous; cal with a small inner membrane across the base of each sinus, but without a continuous internal rim; cal-lobes with thin, hyaline margins, usually alternately dissimilar; cor funnelform to campanulate, without folds or plaits in the sinuses and without internal scales, but regularly with nectary glands alternating with the stamens toward the base within; ovary stipitate, the stigmas large, sessile or on a short style; ovules covering most of the inner surface of the ovary; seeds numerous, papillate (in ours) or reticulate and caudate; glabrous herbs, ours taprooted annuals or biennials, with showy, long-pedicellate fls solitary or in open, cymose infls. (Anthopogon Raf.) (Often included in Gentiana or Gentianella) 20, temp. and boreal N. Amer. and Eurasia.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.