Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Eustoma exaltatum


Catchfly prairie gentian, Bluebell gentian, Western blue gentian, Blue marsh lily, Small bluebell, Catchfly gentian, Seaside gentian


Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)



Eustoma exaltatum (Catchfly prairie gentian)
Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Eustoma means open mouth, referring to the large throat of the flower. It prefers damp areas and seems to reach peak condition on moist prairies, where it sometimes grows in profusion. The large, bell-shaped flowers, 2-3 inches across, have 5-7 bluish-purple petals, less than 1 inch long, which are constricted into a small tube at the base and have prominent purple markings in the throat. The plants are 1-2 feet high with smooth, erect stems and branches. The leaves are long and oval with pointed tips, 1-2 1/2 inches long.

Although it is often referred to as the Seaside Gentian, this plant is not restricted to coastal habitats; it also grows in the Great Plains from Montana to New Mexico. The interior subspecies, E. exaltum ssp. russellianum, is called the Showy Prairie Gentian. The genus name, from the Greek eu (good) and stoma (mouth), refers to the wide opening of the corolla tube.

Image Gallery:

17 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: 1-2
Flower:
Fruit:

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue , Purple
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: The large, bell-shaped flowers, 2-3 inches across, have 5-7 bluish-purple petals, less than 1 inch long, which are constricted into a small tube at the base and have prominent purple markings in the throat.

Distribution

USA: AL , AZ , AR , CA , CO , FL , KS , LA , MS , MT , NE , NM , OK , SD , TX , WY
Native Distribution: Southern United States from Florida west to California and north in the interior to Montana and South Dakota.
Native Habitat: Sandy coastal areas, moist places in prairies and fields, and saline to freshwater marshes.

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist

Benefit

Conspicuous Flowers: yes

Last Update: 2012-09-29