Lily Lion Heart

Sunday 6 May 2012

Gorgeous Gentiana

Those that know me know that Gentiana is one of my favourite genera. Who can resist that indescribable azure blue colour. They like few other genera i.e. Meconopsis, Tecophilaea, Eritrichium, have a very unique blue in the plant kingdom. I grow the spring blooming European species and the fall blooming more challenging and pernickety Chinese species.
For the layman the trumpet gentian, apart from edelweiss, is the archetypal alpine flower.
Spring flowering gentians are divided into two groups, the acaulis group and verna group.
The pan below is of G. angustifolia and dinarica. Both are lime loving and enjoy full sun. Flowers are a dreamy deep royal blue with olive green longitudinal throats and are 2-3 " long.

G. angustifolia- comes from the south-western Alps and also in the Jura and Pyrenees
G. dinarica- comes from the Balkans

Gentiana verna- is found in the Alps, Balkans and Pyrenees. Deep azure-blue flowers. Lime tolerant.

Sources are:
Gentians- Fritz Kohlein- published by Timber Press- no longer available, however used copies are.
Flowers of Western China- Christopher Grey-Wilson and Phillip Cribb.

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