Closed Gentian

Ojibway: Niibaa’obag
Latin: Gentiana andrewssi (L.)

Closed-Gentian-1

Common Names

  • Closed bottle gentian
Description

Conspicuous lavender, purple, or white, cup-shaped flowers, solitary or in few-flowered terminal clusters.

Flowers

The flowers have five regular parts and are up to 4 cm (1 1/2 in.) long. They are blue sometimes violet. The corolla appears completely closed but can be opened at the top; August to September.

Leaves

The leaf arrangement is opposite. Leaves can reach 10 cm
in length (4 in.). Each leaf is? lanceolate entire and stemless

HeightClosed-Gentian-2

61 cm in height (24 in.) tall.

Habitat

Moist fields or open woods.

Range

From Quebec to as far south as Tennessee and North Carolina.

Discussion

The bitter root has long been used as a tonic and is known to be an appetite stimulant. It was used as a tonic, cathartic and laxative as well as to treat a weak stomach and, oddly, hysterical affections.