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Gentiana andrewsii 'Jacki-Dee'
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[[{{{domain}}}]] > [[{{{superregnum}}}]] > Plantae > [[{{{subregnum}}}]] > [[{{{superdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{superphylum}}}]] > [[{{{divisio}}}]] > [[{{{phylum}}}]] > [[{{{subdivisio}}}]] > [[{{{subphylum}}}]] > [[{{{infraphylum}}}]] > [[{{{microphylum}}}]] > [[{{{nanophylum}}}]] > [[{{{superclassis}}}]] > [[{{{classis}}}]] > [[{{{subclassis}}}]] > [[{{{infraclassis}}}]] > [[{{{superordo}}}]] > Gentianales > [[{{{subordo}}}]] > [[{{{infraordo}}}]] > [[{{{superfamilia}}}]] > Gentianaceae > [[{{{subfamilia}}}]] > [[{{{supertribus}}}]] > [[{{{tribus}}}]] > [[{{{subtribus}}}]] > Gentiana {{{subgenus}}} {{{sectio}}} {{{series}}} var.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture

Gentiana (after Gentius, King of Illyria, who is said to have discovered the tonic value of these plants). Gentianaceae. Choice herbs, mostly blue-flowered, grown in the open, many of them in alpine gardening.

Chiefly perennial herbs, only rarely biennial or annual, often dwarf, diffuse or frequently tufted, sometimes erect and slender or even tall and stout: lvs. opposite, rarely verticillate, mostly sessile:-fls. blue, violet, purple, rarely dull yellow or white; floral parts typically 5, rarely 4-7: fr. a caps.—There are about 300 species, widely scattered in temperate and mountainous regions. Many botanists now consider the genus in a highly restricted sense, taking up various names for gentians, such as Amarella Dasystephana, and so on, but they are here all considered as of the genus Gentiana.

Gentians are amongst the most desirable of alpine plants, and of blue flowers in general, but they are usually considered difficult to establish. The genus is the largest in the family, and from the horticultural standpoint, the most important. The blue gentian, celebrated by tourists in the Alps, is mostly the stemless G. acaulis. This was brought to English gardens so long ago that all record of its introduction is lost. It is by far the most popular kind in cultivation. This species is by some split into five distinct forms, of which G. angustifolia, Vill. (not Michx.), is nearest to the Gentianella of English gardens. It has been so much modified in cultivation that it now has stems 4 to 6 inches high and the rootstock is so stoloniferous that the plant has to be cut back every year when used for edgings in English gardens. In France it is easily grown in a compost of one-half humus or leaf-soil and one-half good vegetable mold, to which may be added a little sand. Correvon writes: "It can be multiplied by means of offsets, but it is infinitely better to raise it from seed, and, in doing this, it should not be forgotten that the seeds of this group of gentians are very tedious, and, more especially, very capricious in germinating. I have sown seeds of G. acaulis, some of which did not germinate for twelve months, while others (which I must say were more recently gathered) germinated in a few weeks. The seedlings should be potted as soon as possible and while they are very young. They will begin to flower in about three years from the time of sowing, rarely sooner." Except G. andrewsii. G. saponaria and G. puberula, and perhaps a few others, gentians do not thrive so well in America as in England. Our seasons are too hot and dry. Whenever possible, choose a damp atmosphere.

It is rash to generalize on gentian-culture, because some plants are tall, others dwarf, some found on mountains, others in lowlands, some in moist soil, others in dry lands, while some like limestone and others cannot endure it. The annual kinds are of interest only to the expert. Alpine plants in general are singular in requiring an extremely large water-supply, combined with extremely good drainage. Another difficult problem is to keep the plants as cool as they are on the mountains without shading them more than nature does. Gentian seeds are small, and in germination slow and uncertain. They should be sown as soon as gathered, for the thorough drying out of small seeds is, as a rule, soon fatal. Gentians are difficult to establish, and dislike division of the root, but are well worth patient years of trial, for they are very permanent when once established. Nature-like alpine gardens are one of the latest and most refined departments of gardening, and gentians are one of the most inviting groups of plants to the skilled amateur. Consult Alpine Plants.

There are several fringed gentians, but ours (G. crinita, Fig. 1625) is perhaps the most beautiful of gentians, and one of the choicest and most delicate of American wild flowers. It has been proposed as our national flower, and, while sought after less than the trailing arbutus, it is in even greater danger of extermination in certain states because it is a biennial, and because it has never been successfully cultivated. Seeds of G. crinita have long been advertised, but they are difficult to germinate and the plant is not seen in American gardens. The fringed gentian is however, firmly rooted in American literature, and from the time of Bryant's ode many tributes in verse have been paid to its unique beauty. The daily unfolding of its square-ridged and twisted buds has been watched in thousands of homes. By the artists its blue is often considered the nearest approach to the color of the sky, but it must be confessed that a shade of purple often appears in the older flowers. Correvon makes four cultural groups of gentians:

1. Tall gentians for general culture: species whose roots are more or less stout, which are of relatively easy culture, and therefore suitable for borders, rockwork and landscape gardening. Typical plant, G. lutea; others are G. affinis, G. alba, G. andrewsii, G. asclepiadea, G. Bigelovii, G. Burseri, G. Cruciata, G. decumbens, G. fetisowii, G. gelida, G. kesselringii, G. macrophylla, G. olivieri, G. pneumonanthe, G. porphyrio, G. saponaria, G. sceptrum, G. septemfida and G. walujewi.

2. Low-growing gentians: species whose roots being less stout are adapted to rockwork, and for the open ground only when a special compost is provided. Includes G. acaulis and the species into which it is sometimes divided.

3. Tufted gentians: species with sessile flowers growing little above the level of the ground, and suited to the same positions as Group II. Typical plant, G. verna: others are G. bavarica, G. imbricata, G. oregana, G. ornata, G. pyrenaica, and G. pumila.

4. Rare gentians: species which cannot be grown without some special knowledge and practical experience. Typical plant, G. purpurea; others are G. eiliata, G. froelichii, G. punctata, and presumably all the rest.

The two most popular gentians in American cultivation seem to be G. acaulis and G. andrewsii. These are perhaps, followed by G. cruciata, G. puberula and G. saponaria. The plant which King Gentius knew is probably G. lutea, the root of which furnishes the gentian of drugstores. Prom the same sources comes the liqueur or cordial called "gentiane."

In the index, those marked with an asterisk (*)appear in American trade catalogues; the others are cultivated abroad. (See also Suppl. list, p. 1328). The plants are perennials and mountain-loving, unless otherwise stated.


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About 400 species, includingwp.

Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture


acaulis*, 51. adscendens, 3. affinis, 29. alata, 48. alba*, 7, 19, 51. algida, 10. 11. alpina, 55. andrewsii, 22. angulosa, 48. angustifolia, 31, 52. asclepiadea, 19. barbata, 16. bavarica, 49. bigelovii, 39. brevidens, 37. buergeri, 26. burseri, 2. calycosa*, 35. campestris, 12. carpatica, 46. Catesbaei, 21, 22. ciliata, 15. clusii*, 54. cordifolia, 28. crinita, 14. cruciata, 45. dahurica, 30. decumbens, 3. detonsa, 16. dinarica, 56. excisa, 51. favratii, 48. fortunei, 27. freyniana, 28. frigida, 9, 10. froelichii, 18. gaudiniana, 43. gelida, 11. guttata, 20. imbricata, 47. incarnata, 8. intermedia, 8. kochiana, 53. kochii, 61. kurroo, 37. linearis, 23. lutea, 1. macrophylla, 44. moorcroftiana, 13. newberryi, 38. nivalis, 46. occidentalis, 17. ochroleuca, 8. olivieri, 30. oregana*, 40. ornata, 32. pannonica, 42. parryi*, 36. pneumonanthe, 20. Porphyrio, 31. proBtrata, 25. pseudc-Pneumonanthe, 23. puberula, 41. pumila. 50. punctata, 6. purpurea, 4. pyrenaica, 24. guinqueflora, 17. quinquefolia, 17. rubra, 5. Saponaria, 21. scabra, 26. sceptrum, 34. fleptemfida, 28. serrata, 16. Thomasii, 4. triflora, 33. veitchiorum, 32. verna, 48. villosa, 8.

The following are names of gentians not sufficiently described for insertion above or as yet scarcely known in cult.: G. arvernensis, Hort. Perhaps a var. of G. pneumonanthe. Fls. Napoleon blue. See G.C. II. 20:40. desc. G. 29:7.—G. charpentieri,Thorn. Natural hybrid, intermediate between G. lutea and G. punctata: corolla spotted red; calyx 5-cut. Grisebach does not say whether that corolla is not plaited, anthers always free, and style none. Alps* above Engadine.—G. corymbifera, Hort. is described as 12-18 in. high, with usually simple sts. branching toward the top: fls. white, about 1 in. diam. New Zeal. G.C. III. 46:203.—G. fetisdwii, Repel. St. erect, tall: fls. deep blue. China. Gt. 31:1069.—G. haengistii, Hausm. (syn. G. kummeriana).—G. kesselringii, Regcl. Height about 8 in.: fls. whitish, dotted violet outside. Turkestan. Gt. 31:1087.— G. kummeriaina, Sendt. Hybrid between G. lutea and G. pannonica. Fls. yellowish.—-G. Lawrencei, Burkill. Allied to G. ornata but distinguished by the much longer linear lvs.: corolla about 1 ¾ in, long, blue above, the tube paler with dark blue lines. Mongolia. G.C. 111.38:307.—G. wallichiana.—Height 8-12 in.: fls. clear blue, —G. walujewi, Hegel & Schmalh. Fls. whitish, dotted pale blue. Turkestan. CH

The above text is from the Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture. It may be out of date, but still contains valuable and interesting information which can be incorporated into the remainder of the article. Click on "Collapse" in the header to hide this text.


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