|26 September 2014, prairie remnant east of Derby.|
Gentiana puberulenta. Dimunitive (under 20-inch) plant with shiny, smooth, pointed, opposite leaves. Deeply cup-shaped "gentian blue" flowers cluster at the top of the plants, each with five points alternating with fringed segments.
These are among the last of the prairie flowers to appear in the fall, often surviving hard frosts. Somewhat rare in Lucas County. Look in shorter-grass areas of mesic to dry upland prairie remnants, occasionally in open savannas. Attune your eyes to blue, keep them open and look down.