HARDY PERENNIALS: GENTIANA

Although associated in most peoples minds with Alpine gardening Gentians are a very large genus, and include some that grow3-4 feet high to include yellow as well as blue. There are also a few, taller than the truly Alpine species, which should be included here. G. asclepiadea is the Willow Gentian, so named because its slender 2 feet stems have willowy leaves. The blue trumpets, somewhat clustered towards the top, are deep throated, and make an attractive display from July to September. Shades of blue vary a little and apart from the bright G. ‘Knightshayes’ variety, there is a white. G. septemfida and other of its kin are dual purpose—for rock garden or border. They have deep roots and tufty green shoots above the ground which develop into leafy but rather lax stems from 6-10 inches high and carry clusters of brilliant blue trumpets from June to August. These summer flowering dwarf Gentians will grow in any good soil regardless of lime content, but G. asclepiadea not only prefers neutral or’acid soil, but likes some shade as well, especially where not dry. Seed is the only safe method of increase. Old plants resent being moved and young pot grown stock are best to use.

GENTIANA asclepiadea

GENTIANA asclepiadea

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