The flowers of the closed gentian measure 2.5-4 cm. in width and are arranged in tight clusters of 10-20. The dark-blue petals of each flowers are fused to form a cylindrical- or cone-shaped corolla. This structure is whitish-blue at the base, has clearly defined fusion lines, and is unfused at the tip, forming a white or yellow-star shaped opening. Flower clusters are positioned atop the terminal shoots of each stem and can also form in the axils of upper leaves.
The leaves of the closed gentian are, on average, 10 cm. in length, bright, glossy green, lanceolate-to-ovate in shape, and surround flowers clusters in dense whorls. They are also arranged in an opposite fashion along the portion of the stem below the flower cluster.
Closed gentian grows best in moist environments including thickets and open meadows.
Other names attributed to the closed gentian include the bottle gentian. Both names allude to the closed shape of the flower.
Closed gentian is a popular and easily cultivated garden flower.
The closed gentian is a medicinal plant. The root can be used to make an appetite-simulating tonic.
The Cherokee Indians used the closed gentian as a tonic, laxative, and as a treatment for stomach ailments.