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Native Plant Trust: Go Botany Discover thousands of New England plants

Family: Gentianaceae — gentian family

Many species in the Gentianaceae in New England are annual or biennial herbs with opposite leaves that are nearly or completely hairless, simple, entire, and without petioles (stalks). The genus Gentiana is an exception in that all our species are perennial. In some species within the family, the leaf blades are tiny and scale-like. The flowers are arranged in branching inflorescences or occur singly, and are actinomorphic (radially symmetrical). The flowers usually have both pollen-bearing and ovule-bearing parts, and are 4- to 5-merous. Both the sepals and petals are fused together at their bases and attach below the ovary (i.e., the ovary is superior). The stamens are basally fused to the petals, alternating with the lobes. The style may be long or very short, and may be cleft in two. The fruit is usually a capsule with many small seeds. Two of our genera that were formerly placed in the Gentianaceae are now in placed in the Menyanthaceae.

This family’s genera in New England

Visit this family in the Dichotomous Key