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perennial

Common Gentian

Gentiana dahurica

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Common Gentian (Gentiana dahurica) at Bayport Flower Houses

Common Gentian flowers

Common Gentian flowers

(Photo courtesy of V. Trattar)

Height:  12 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  4a

Other Names:  Dahurian Gentian

Description:

Dainty and dazzling little blue tubular flowers with white throats steal the show on this cute little plant; doesn't like intense heat, so keep in a part-shade setting, otherwise easy to care for

Ornamental Features

Common Gentian features dainty blue tubular flowers with white throats at the ends of the stems from late summer to early fall. Its narrow leaves remain dark green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Common Gentian is an herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its medium texture blends into the garden, but can always be balanced by a couple of finer or coarser plants for an effective composition.

This plant will require occasional maintenance and upkeep, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. Deer don't particularly care for this plant and will usually leave it alone in favor of tastier treats. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Common Gentian is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Mass Planting
  • Rock/Alpine Gardens
  • Border Edging
  • General Garden Use
  • Naturalizing And Woodland Gardens
  • Container Planting

Planting & Growing

Common Gentian will grow to be about 12 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain dense right to the ground, not requiring facer plants in front. It grows at a medium rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for approximately 15 years.

This plant should be grown in a location that is shaded from the hot afternoon sun. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is very fussy about its soil conditions and must have rich, acidic soils to ensure success, and is subject to chlorosis (yellowing) of the leaves in alkaline soils. It is quite intolerant of urban pollution, therefore inner city or urban streetside plantings are best avoided, and will benefit from being planted in a relatively sheltered location. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone over the growing season to conserve soil moisture. This species is not originally from North America.

Common Gentian is a fine choice for the garden, but it is also a good selection for planting in outdoor pots and containers. It is often used as a 'filler' in the 'spiller-thriller-filler' container combination, providing a mass of flowers against which the thriller plants stand out. Note that when growing plants in outdoor containers and baskets, they may require more frequent waterings than they would in the yard or garden.

 
 
Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight Soil pH Preference
Characteristics
Massing  Rock  Edging  Garden  Naturalizing  Container 
Applications
Flowers 
Ornamental Features