Plant Family / Gentiana - Gentians
Prized by rock garden enthusiasts, Gentians are strikingly beautiful perennials, native to the temperate and arctic regions of the world. When in full bloom, they are hard to beat in terms of floral display with their profusion of intense blue flowers. Mostly evergreen or herbaceous perennials, they bloom in late spring or late summer and are glorious subjects for rock gardens, raised beds or garden edging.
Noted for its sky blue flowers, award-winning Gentiana 'Strathmore' (Gentian) is an herbaceous perennial forming a slowly spreading mat of narrow, pale green leaves borne on trailing stems. In late summer and fall, masses of solitary, light blue, funnel-shaped flowers, up to 2 in. long (5cm), are on display. Facing upward, they reveal white stripes down their throat.
One of the most spectacular rock garden plants, award-winning Gentiana acaulis (Stemless Gentian) is an evergreen alpine perennial forming a slowly spreading mat of glossy, deep green, elliptical leaves. Sitting directly on top of the foliage, large, solitary rich blue, trumpet-shaped flowers bloom in late spring to early summer. Facing upward, they reveal green-spotted throats.
One of the easiest Gentians to grow, award-winning Gentiana asclepiadea (Willow Gentian) is a clump-forming perennial with gracefully arching stems bearing lanceolate, willow-like, fresh green leaves. In late summer and fall, a profusion of trumpet-shaped, sapphire blue flowers, up to 2 in. long (5cm), appear in pairs or threes in the upper leaf axils.
One of the great joys of the hardy alpine garden, Gentiana verna (Spring Gentian) is an evergreen perennial forming a slowly spreading mat of narrowly ovate, gray-green leaves. In mid-late spring to early summer, intense ultramarine blue, star-like flowers unfold from pyramid-shaped buds over several weeks. Facing upward, they reveal their five propeller-shaped petals and white throats.