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A family of hairless herbs that have simple, opposite leaves, bell-shaped or wheel-shaped corollas, and superior ovaries of 2 partly fused carpels. There are about 74 genera, with 1200 species, centred on northern temperate regions, but extending far south down the Andes into S. America. Gentiana (gentian) has about 300 species, centred in the mountains of Europe. Many of them are prized for their splendid, mostly blue, flowers.

Subjects: Plant Sciences and Forestry.

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