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Gentiana clausa (Bottle Gentian)

Bottle Gentian, Blind Gentian

Gentiana clausa, Bottle Gentian, Blind Gentian, Blue flowers

Gracing the garden in late summer, Gentiana clausa (Bottle Gentian) is a clump-forming perennial noted for its tight clusters of bottle-shaped, dark blue flowers, which always remain closed. Since the petals never open, the unusual flowers look like buds about to open. Blooming from late summer to mid-fall, sometimes until frost, the blossoms appear at the tops of the stems or in the upper leaf axils. Bumblebees are the primary pollinators of the flowers, as they are one of the few insects that can force their way past the closed corolla. The foliage of paired, lance-shaped, dark green leaves appears below the clusters. Easy to grow, Bottle Gentian is a welcome addition to a moist wildflower garden, where its intriguing blue blossoms will add a subtle touch of color.

  • Grows up to 12-24 in. tall (30-60 cm) and 12-18 in. across (30-45 cm). It will naturalize over time into large clumps.
  • Thrives in full sun to part shade in humus-rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soils. A mulch of rotted leaves or compost in the spring is beneficial.
  • Ideal for shady borders, woodland gardens, cottage gardens, or along streams or ponds.
  • Virtually pest and disease-free.
  • Propagate by seed or root division in fall or early spring.
  • Native to eastern North America.

Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Gentianaceae
Genus Gentiana
Common names Bottle Gentian, Gentian
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" - 24"
(30cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Midwest, Ohio, Southeast, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ponds And Streams, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
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Alternative Plants to Consider

Gentiana andrewsii (Closed Bottle Gentian)
Gentiana ‘Strathmore’ (Gentian)
Gentiana verna (Spring Gentian)
Gentiana asclepiadea (Willow Gentian)
Gentiana acaulis (Stemless Gentian)

Recommended Companion Plants

Athyrium filix-femina (Lady Fern)
Lilium canadense (Canada Lily)
Conoclinium coelestinum (Blue Mistflower)
Vernonia noveboracensis (New York Ironweed)
Lobelia cardinalis (Cardinal Flower)
Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)
Osmunda regalis (Royal Fern)
Aster novae-angliae (New England Aster)

Find In One of Our Guides or Gardens

Stunning Blue Flowers to Enhance Your Garden’s Beauty
While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.
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Requirements

Hardiness 3 - 9
Plant Type Perennials
Plant Family Gentianaceae
Genus Gentiana
Common names Bottle Gentian, Gentian
Exposure Full Sun, Partial Sun
Season of Interest Summer (Late)
Fall
Height 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spread 1' - 2'
(30cm - 60cm)
Spacing 12" - 24"
(30cm - 60cm)
Maintenance Low
Water Needs Average
Soil Type Clay, Loam, Sand
Soil pH Acid, Neutral
Soil Drainage Moist but Well-Drained
Characteristics Showy
Native Plants United States, Northeast, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Midwest, Ohio, Southeast, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia
Attracts Bees
Garden Uses Beds And Borders, Ponds And Streams, Underplanting Roses And Shrubs
Garden Styles Prairie and Meadow, Informal and Cottage
How Many Plants
Do I Need?
Guides with
Gentiana (Gentian)
Not sure which Gentiana (Gentian) to pick?
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