Plant Pick: Fall Blooming Bottle Gentian

Gentiana andrewsii or Bottle Gentian

Such a beautiful flower and so vividly blue, it won my heart right away. And it blooms in the Fall? Oh my!

This is a native plant to North America.  These flowers are bottle-shaped, looking like over-sized flower buds .

But they do not open, hence the name they are sometimes called, Closed Gentian. I haven’t planted in hypertufa yet, since it has a long tap root and needs a lot of moisture. But I have planted it in a bottomless planter because of this and it is doing well. I think it needs more sun since it is growing in a loose branched plant and I would rather have the tighter small bush. 

BottleGentianfromthehypertufagardener3

 

These plants are badly in need of the bumblebee as its primary pollinator because big bumblebees are one of the only pollinators strong enough  to force themselves into the closed flower to pollinate it.

I acquired my Bottle Gentian as part of a grouping of other plants purchased in the  fall which included some pansies, and a small cypress which has long since died. This year is the second year that I have grown the plant and it has faithfully returned each spring. It is herbaceous in Ohio and dies back to the ground in winter. 

But these flowers are so beautiful and vividly colored that they fascinated me. I really didn’t have much hope that it would return that first year since it was so exotic looking, but it DID!

After blooming well into November, I was just resigned to it not sprouting again that following spring. But there were little points that came back up in the spring!

Short Bottle Gentian - the Hypertufa Gardener

 

 

I am anxious to see how they do this fall. I have a large clump of these plants. I don’t know if it is one plant, or a cluster of the plants.  Maybe I will dig some up and move them to a sunnier spot and I will be able to tell if it is one or more. So I will just hope that it blossoms after I move it and enjoy it if it does!

Stats:

  • Full sun or partial shade  (I think it grows best in full sun)
  • Flowers: late July to Frost  ( mine was blooming in snow)
  • Moisture: Moderate to High with rich soil
  • Height 1 – 2 feet, Spread 1 – 3 feet
  • Zone as low as 4-5  to unknown? 

thehypertufagardenerBottleGentian

I will update if and when I have blossoms this year. My plant looks pretty healthy right now. It is about a foot tall and has many stems, but I am not sure if those are each an individual plant or a cluster of branches. In reading about it, it seems to have just a single stem which will end in the flower cluster?  If you have this plant, help me understand if you can.

BottleGentianfrom thehypertufagardener

Let me know in the comments or on the Facebook Page if you have any experience with this plant. This last photo is of the plant prior to blooming. I know you love this plant as much as I do. I love blue!

Post End - thehypertufagardener.com

 

Kim, The Hypertufa Gardener

Hi, I am Kim and thank you so much for visiting my magazine! I am a gardener and a hypertufa maker. If you came here to learn about hypertufa, I have a lot of information. But I also write about flower gardening and using succulents which are great drought-tolerant plants.

Of course, I have some recipes and some random family concerns which I hope interest you too! Please page through the Magazine and find what you like! and Subscribe!

I also have a YouTube channel called Kim’s Gardens where you can see my hypertufa as I make them. ( See My About Page)

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