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Gentians have distinctive, bell-shaped blossoms. They are usually bisexual and regular with 4 or 5 separate sepals, 4 or 5 united petals and 4 or 5 stamens. The stamens are inserted on the corolla tube and alternate with the lobes. The ovary is positioned superior. It consists of 2 united carpels (bicarpellate), forming a single chamber. It matures as a capsule with many seeds. The leaves are mostly opposite, but some species of Frasera have leaves in whorls of three or four. Worldwide, there are 70 genera and 1,100 species. Thirteen genera are native to North America.
Key Words: Plants with opposite leaves and tubular flowers with parts in fours and fives.
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