Sabatia angularis

Species Native to Missouri
Common Name: rose gentian 
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Gentianaceae
Native Range: Central and eastern North America
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 1.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: June to September
Bloom Description: Rose pink flowers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Butterflies


Best grown in well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Biennial plant which produces a basal foliage rosette in the first year and flowering stalks in the second year.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Sabatia angularis, commonly known as rose pink or rose gentian, is a North American biennial wildflower of the gentian family that typically grows to 1-3’ tall. It is native to open woods, glades, thickets, upland ridges, fields, prairies, meadows, marshes and roadsides, often in acid soils, from Ontario south to New Mexico and Florida. In Missouri, it is typically found in the Ozark, central and eastern regions of the State.

Seeds germinate in spring of the first year establishing a dense basal rosette of leaves. Multi-branched flowering stems which are conspicuously 4-angled near the base rise up from the basal rosette in the second year bearing small, fragrant, rose pink flowers (each to 1” diameter) in flat-topped terminal cymes. Each flower has five, petal-like, corolla lobes and a star-shaped, greenish-yellow center. Flowers bloom June-September. Flowers are followed by seed capsules (1/3” long), each having numerous tiny seeds which are easily scattered by wind when ripe to new locations. Although rose pink is biennial, it will easily self-seed in the garden, often forming perennial-like colonies producing abundant bloom each year. Stalkless, opposite, egg-shaped, broad-oval to heart-shaped leaves (each to 1.5” long) have clasping bases.

Genus name honors Liberato Sabbati (1714-1778), Italian botanist and gardener.

Specific epithet is in reference to the 4-angled plant stems.

This plant has historically been used by herbalists to create a bitter tonic for treatment of a variety of problems including indigestion and fever, as reflected by the sometimes used common name of bitterbloom for this plant.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Attractive mid-summer wildflower.