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Like several other gentian species, the flowers of Stiff Gentian provide attractive blue-violet color during the fall; this is one of the last species to remain in bloom. Stiff Gentian in Illinois consists of var. occidentalis; the typical variety is found east of Ohio. Stiff Gentian is easily distinguished by its peculiar flowers, which are shorter (1" long or less) and more narrow (¼" across) than the flowers of other gentians with closed corollas. Sometimes, Stiff Gentian is still referred to as Gentiana quinquefolia, but this genus has been reserved for the perennial gentians, of which there are several species still extant in Illinois.

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© John Hilty

Source: Illinois Wildflowers

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