120 S. Lake Street, Montgomery, Illinois
NetPS2018-08-17T12:05:30+00:00

perennial

Spring Gentian

Gentiana acaulis

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Spring Gentian (Gentiana acaulis) at Schaefer Greenhouses

Spring Gentian flowers

Spring Gentian flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

Height:  4 inches

Spread:  12 inches

Sunlight:  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  2a

Other Names:  Trumpet Gentian

Ornamental Features

Spring Gentian has blue trumpet-shaped flowers with navy blue throats at the ends of the stems from mid to late spring, which are interesting on close inspection. Its narrow leaves remain forest green in color throughout the season. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Spring Gentian is a dense herbaceous perennial with a mounded form. Its relatively fine texture sets it apart from other garden plants with less refined foliage.

This is a high maintenance plant that will require regular care 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.

Spring Gentian is recommended for the following landscape applications;

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

Planting & Growing

Spring Gentian will grow to be only 4 inches tall at maturity, with a spread of 12 inches. Its foliage tends to remain low and dense right to the ground. It grows at a slow 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.

Spring 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
Rock  Edging  Garden  Naturalizing  Container 
Applications
Flowers  Texture 
Ornamental Features