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Gentiana verna
Gentiana verna
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Gentianales
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana L.

See text.

For the cultivated flower known as a Gentian or Tulip Gentian see Eustoma. For the saint of this name, see Victoricus, Fuscian, and Gentian.

Gentiana is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Gentian family (Gentianaceae), tribe Gentianeae and monophyletic subtribe Gentianinae. This a large genus, with about 400 species.

This is a cosmopolitan genus, occurring in alpine habitats of temperate regions of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Some species also occur in northwest Africa, eastern Australia and New Zealand. They consist of annual, biennial and perennial plants. Some are evergreen, others are not.

Their leaves are arranged in an opposite way. Most of them belong to a basal rosette. Gentians have trumpet-shaped flowers which are usually deep blue or azure, but may vary from white, creamy and yellow to red. Blue-flowered species predominate in the Northern Hemisphere, and red in the Andes; white-flowered species are scattered but dominate in New Zealand. These terminal tubular flowers are mostly pentamerous, i.e. with 5 corolla lobes (petals), and 5 sepals, but 4-7 in some species. The style is rather short or absent. The corolla shows folds (= plicae) between the lobes. The ovary is mostly sessile and has nectary glands.

Gentians are fully hardy and like full sun or partial shade, and neutral to acid soil that is rich in humus and well drained. They are popular in rock gardens.

According to Pliny the Elder, Gentian is an eponym of Gentius (180-168 BC), the King of Illyria, said to have discovered its healing properties. Some species are of medicinal use and their roots were harvested for the manufacture of tonic liquor, for instance in France "Suze" or similar liquors. Gentian is also used as a flavouring, for example in bitters, and the soft drink "Moxie" which contains "Gentian Root Extractives".


File:Gentiana amarella L ag1.jpg
Northern Gentian (Gentiana amarella)
Closed Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)
Rainier Pleated Gentian (Gentiana calycosa)
File:Gentiana lutea 230705.jpg
Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea)
File:Gentiana pneumonanthe L ag1.jpg
Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe)
File:Gentiana asclepiadea L ag1.jpg
Milkweed Gentian (Gentiana asclepiadea)
Bottle Gentian (Gentiana clausa)
File:Gentiana calycosa 7140.JPG
Rainier Pleated Gentian (Gentiana calycosa)
Parry's Gentian (Gentiana parryi)
File:Gentiana septemfida0.jpg
Crested Gentian (Gentiana septemfida)
File:Gentiana verna L ag1.jpg
Spring Gentian (Gentiana verna)


Gentian in Culture

bg:Тинтява ca:Genciana da:Ensian de:Enziane eo:Genciano fa:کوشاد hsb:Baltiski hórkowc it:Gentiana nl:Gentiaan sr:Сириштара sv:Gentianor uk:Тирлич