The bottle-shaped flowers of closed gentian are blue/violet and sometimes white, but in the world of gentians, their distinguishing feature is the fact that the flowers are closed! (Other gentians open at the top.) The plant grows 1 to 3 feet in height and has sessile (no petiole) leaves that are opposite, entire, lanceolate, hairless, and a bit shiny.
This native perennial plant blooms from August to October. The flowers are pollinated by bumble bees, which have to fight their way into the flower. Sometimes they chew their way in, as one of the flowers below suggests. These plants were found blooming in September in the woods at Mountain Lake Conservancy.
Compare this plant to another related species living in our area, Stiff Gentian. Stiff Gentian flowers are OPEN at the top.