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Miller, Holmes O.
Gentiana clausa Raf.
Bottle gentian, Blind gentian
USDA Symbol: gecl
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Paired, lance-shaped leaves line the usually unbranched, 2 ft. stem. Small groups of blue flowers, which always remain closed, occur in tight clusters at the top of the stem and, in well-developed plants, from lower leaf axils. Upper flowers are subtended by a whorl of leaves.
The Bottle Gentian is a member of the family Gentianaceae. Gentians are leafy herbs, commonly with showy bell- or trumpet-shaped flowers blooming in a branched cluster. There are about 70 genera and 1,100 species that occur in many different habitats in temperate and subtropical regions. Some gentians are cultivated as ornamentals.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
CT , DC , MA , MD , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WV Native Distribution:
ME to NY, s. to NJ & along mts. to NC Native Habitat:
Wood borders; stream banks USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Strong grower. A mulch of rotted leaves or compost in the spring is beneficial.
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Propagate by seed or divisions of the root crown. Divide root crowns in fall or early spring and plant 1 ft. apart. Be sure to include a large ball of soil aroung the division when you lift it out. This protects the brittle crown. Germination of seed Seed Collection:
The dried corolla
remains intact around the brown capsule
as it matures. Seeds are collected just before the first hard freeze when the capsules begin to open and curl back. Tap
seed out and store dry in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to four years. Seed Treatment:
Stratify 3 months at 40 degrees. Commercially Avail:
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Record Modified: 2012-07-16
Research By: TWC Staff