Gentiana andrewsii

Tried and Trouble-free Recommended by 2 Professionals
Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: closed gentian
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Gentianaceae
Native Range: Eastern North America
Zone: 3 to 7
Height: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: October
Bloom Description: Dark blue
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil

Culture

Best grown in moist, rich, cool, humusy, acidic, well-drained soils in part shade. Dislikes hot nights, and does not grow well in the deep South. If left undisturbed, plants in optimum growing conditions will naturalize over time into large clumps.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Gentiana andrewsii, commonly called bottle gentian, is a Missouri native wildflower which is most often found in moist woods, thickets and low wooded areas near streams and ponds. Typically grows 1-2' tall and features tight clusters of tubular (bottle-shaped), deep blue flowers which never open. Flower clusters appear at the tops of the stems or in the upper leaf axils in late summer to early autumn (October in the St. Louis area). Ovate, lance-shaped leaves (to 4" long) with parallel veins. Sometimes also commonly called closed gentian.

Genus name honors King Gentius of Illyria, c. 500 B.C., who was reputed to have discovered the medicinal virtues of the root of the yellow gentian or bitterwort (G. lutea) from which a tonic bitters is still made.

Specific epithet honors English botanical artist Henry C. Andrews (active 1794-1830).

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best in part shade areas of rock gardens, woodland or shade gardens, wild flower gardens, native plant gardens or along streams or ponds. Also may be grown in shady areas of borders.