Gentian family (Gentianaceae)
Description: Annual or biennial plants usually less than 2" tall with opposite, stalkless leaves that clasp the stem at their rounded bases. Each leaf is up to 3" long and 1" wide, with a prominent lengthwise central vein and pointed tip. The flowers are on long individual stalks near the top of the plant. Each deep blue flower is about 1" wide, with a cuplike green calyx with 4 triangular loves and a corolla with 4 broadly rounded, spreading lobes that are finely fringed along the edges.
Habitat/Range: Uncommon and local in high-quality wet sites, including prairie swales and along streams, often in calcium-rich waters; found in the northern tallgrass region from North Dakota and southwestern Michigan east into Ohio.