Gentiana Angustifolia – the Blue Trumpet Gentian

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Robert Pavlis

Gentiana angustifolia, by Robert Pavlis

Gentiana angustifolia produces huge flowers relative to the size of the plant. This is one of the best plants in my rock garden and it should be added to every garden that specializes in small plants.

Gentiana angustifolia, by Robert Pavlis
Gentiana angustifolia growing in 1/4″ stone, by Robert Pavlis

G. angustifolia is part of the Gentian acaulis group (the stemless to short stemmed gentians) and is very similar to G. acaulis. In nature and in horticulture these two species cross breed quite a bit and so this purchased plant could easily be a hybrid between the two. I am told that agustifolia is the easier of the two to grow because it is less demanding about soil pH. I have had no problems growing the plant pictured here. Because these gentians have a reputation of being difficult to grow, I kept it in the original pot and just sunk it in the ground over winter. Last spring I took cuttings, grew them in my raised rock garden and both have done very well.

Gentiana angustifolia, by Robert Pavlis
Gentiana angustifolia, by Robert Pavlis

Common names include stemless gentian, short-stemmed gentian or trumpet gentian. In the wild it grows at elevations up to 9,700 feet, in the limestone Alps of Western Europe. They prefer cool summers and don’t do well in zones warmer than 7.

Gentiana angustifolia, by Robert Pavlis
Gentiana angustifolia, by Robert Pavlis

YouTube video

Gentiana angustifolia

(jen-shee-AN-uh  an-gus-tee-FOH-lee-uh)

Life Cycle: perennial

Height: 10 cm (4 in) with flowers

Bloom Time: late spring

Natural Range: France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland

Habitat: alpine grasslands, rocky meadows, screes

Synonyms:  Ciminalis angustifolia, Gentiana caulescens, Thylacitis angustifolia, Gentiana sabuada

Cultivation of Gentiana angustifolia:

Light: sun to part shade

Soil: variable, good drainage, limestone

Water: moderate to dry

USDA Hardiness Zone: 3 – 7

Propagation: seed, division

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Robert Pavlis

I have been gardening my whole life and have a science background. Besides writing and speaking about gardening, I own and operate a 6 acre private garden called Aspen Grove Gardens which now has over 3,000 perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees. Yes--I am a plantaholic!

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