PLANTS: Annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial herbs, to 70 cm tall. LEAVES: opposite and sessile, or petioled and in basal rosettes, glabrous. INFLORESCENCE: cymose. FLOWERS: sessile to long-pedicellate, (4-)5(-6)-merous; calyx tube 0.5-2 mm long, the lobes keeled, linear to linear-Ianceolate, often scarious margined; corolla salverform, marcescent, the lobes contorted in bud, shorter than or equaling the tube; anthers spirally twisting after dehiscence; ovary I-celled; style slender; stigma 2-lobed. FRUIT: oblong-ovoid to cylindric capsules. SEEDS: oblong to spherical, finely reticulate. NOTES: 40-50 spp. world-wide except tropical and s Afr. (For the mythological Centaur). REFERENCES: Mason, Charles T. 1998 Gentianaceae. J. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 30(2): 84.
Fls 4-5-merous; cal tubular, deeply cleft into carinate, linear or linear-attenuate segments; cor salverform, the slender tube slightly expanded above the cal, the lobes lanceolate to elliptic; stamens on the cor-throat, the slender filaments exsert, the oblong or linear anthers often spirally twisted after anthesis; ovary elongate, often 2-furrowed; style slender; stigma capitate, 2-lobed; capsule thin-walled, invested by the persistent cal and marcescent cor; annual or biennial herbs with numerous small, pink to white fls in terminal, corymbiform or spiciform cymes. (Erythraea) 40-50, ±cosmop.
Gleason, Henry A. & Cronquist, Arthur J. 1991. Manual of vascular plants of northeastern United States and adjacent Canada. lxxv + 910 pp.