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For Your Garden - November 2019

Native plants provide beauty as well as food and shelter for wildlife. Native species are adapted to the Illinois climate. They require little or no watering and are resistant to drought, insects and most diseases. Because they are perennials, you can welcome their presence year after year.

yellow gentian (Gentiana alba)

Yellow gentian is also known as yellowish gentian and white gentian. This perennial herb has leaves in an opposite arrangement along the stem. The simple, entire leaves are lance‐shaped or oval. Leaves clasp the stem. The five‐parted, white flowers are showy. The fruit is a capsule. Yellow gentian may attain a height of one to two feet. It may be found at scattered locations statewide in Illinois growing in moist prairies and on rich, wooded slopes. Flowers are produced from August through October.

Classification and taxonomy are based on Mohlenbrock, Robert H. 2014. Vascular flora of Illinois: A field guide. Fourth edition. Southern Illinois University Press, Carbondale. 536 pp.

Illinois Range

Native Plant Information

For more information about Illinois native plants, visit our Native Habitat Descriptions, Requirements, and Plant Lists page. The following publications are available from the IDNR on our publications page.


​Kingdom: Plantae
Phylum: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Family: Gentianaceae

Illinois Status: common, native