is a genus of flowering plant
The flowering plants , also known as Angiospermae or Magnoliophyta, are the most diverse group of land plants. Angiosperms are seed-producing plants like the gymnosperms and can be distinguished from the gymnosperms by a series of synapomorphies...
s belonging to the Gentian family (Gentianaceae
Gentianaceae are a family of flowering plants of 87 genera and over 1500 species. Flowers are actinomorphic and bisexual with fused sepals and petals. The stamens are attached to the inside of the petals and alternate with the corolla lobes. There is a glandular disk at the base of the gynoecium,...
), tribe Gentianeae and monophyletic
In common cladistic usage, a monophyletic group is a taxon which forms a clade, meaning that it contains all the descendants of the possibly hypothetical closest common ancestor of the members of the group. The term is synonymous with the uncommon term holophyly...
subtribe Gentianinae. With about 400 species, it is considered a large genus.
This is a cosmopolitan genus, occurring in alpine habitats of temperate regions of Asia
Asia is the world's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres. It covers 8.7% of the Earth's total surface area and with approximately 3.879 billion people, it hosts 60% of the world's current human population...
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...
and the Americas
The Americas, or America , are lands in the Western hemisphere, also known as the New World. In English, the plural form the Americas is often used to refer to the landmasses of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions, while the singular form America is primarily...
. Some species also occur in northwest Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...
, eastern Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...
and New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...
. They consist of annual, biennial and perennial plants. Some are evergreen, others are not.
Many gentians are difficult to grow outside their wild habitat, but several species are available in cultivation. Gentians are fully hardy and like full sun or partial shade, and neutral to acid soil that is rich in humus and well drained. They are popular in rock garden
The Rock Garden or Rock Garden of Chandigarh is a Sculpture garden in Chandigarh, India, also known as Nek Chand's Rock Garden after its founder Nek Chand, a government official who started the garden secretly in his spare time in 1957. Today it is spread over an area of forty-acres , it is...
The name is a tribute to an Gentius
Gentius was the last Illyrian king of the Ardiaean State. The name appears to derive from PIE *g'en- "to beget", cognate to Latin gens, gentis "kin, clan, race". He was the son of Pleuratus III, a king who kept relations with Rome very strong...
, an Illyrian king who was thought to have found out that the herbs had tonic properties.
Some species are harvested for the manufacture of aperitif wines, liqueurs, tonics and flavouring, as in bitters
A bitters is an alcoholic beverage that is flavored with herbal essences and has a bitter or bittersweet flavor. There are numerous brands of bitters that were formerly marketed as patent medicines but are now considered to be digestifs, rather than medicines...
. The soft drink
A soft drink is a non-alcoholic beverage that typically contains water , a sweetener, and a flavoring agent...
Moxie is a carbonated beverage that was one of the first mass-produced soft drinks in the United States. It continues to be regionally popular today....
" contains "Gentian Root Extractives".
The French liqueurs Salers, Aveze and Suze
Suze is a French brand of bitters flavoured with the roots of the plant gentian, normally drunk as an apéritif.-History:Suze was invented in Paris by Fernand Moureaux in 1885, but was not put on the market until 1889. It is still in production, now under the ownership of the Pernod group, although...
are made principally from yellow gentian. The Italian brewery Birra Del Borgo brews a beer, Genziana
, with gentian as an adjunct
Adjuncts are unmalted grains used in brewing beer which supplement the main mash ingredient , often with the intention of cutting costs, but sometimes to create an additional feature, such as better foam retention.- Definition :Ingredients which are standard for certain beers, such as wheat in a...
Australian Lemon and Lime Bitters produced by the Bundaberg brewing company
Bundaberg Brewed Drinks Pty Ltd is an Australian-based, beverages manufacturer in Bundaberg, Queensland. Bundaberg Brewed Drinks uses traditional brewing processes to produce non-alcoholic products. Bundaberg Brewed Drinks are exported to over 30 countries....
lists "Gentian Root" as one of the ingredients in its "Bitters Brew".
The Polish vodka Zoladkowa Gorzka is flavoured with gentian. Likewise it is an ingredient in the Italian liqueur Aperol
Aperol is an Italian aperitif originally produced by the Barbieri company, based in Padua. Aperol is now produced by the Campari company. While Aperol was originally created in 1919, it did not become successful until after World War II...
The popular aromatic Angostura bitters
Angostura bitters, often simply referred to as angostura, is a concentrated bitters made of water, 44.7% alcohol, gentian root, and vegetable flavoring extracts by House of Angostura in Trinidad and Tobago. They are typically used for flavoring beverages, or food...
lists Gentian as fourth on its ingredients list.
Gentians have opposite leaves
A leaf is an organ of a vascular plant, as defined in botanical terms, and in particular in plant morphology. Foliage is a mass noun that refers to leaves as a feature of plants....
that are sometimes arranged in a basal rosette, and trumpet-shaped flower
A flower, sometimes known as a bloom or blossom, is the reproductive structure found in flowering plants . The biological function of a flower is to effect reproduction, usually by providing a mechanism for the union of sperm with eggs...
s that are usually deep blue or azure, but may vary from white, creamy and yellow to red. Many species also show considerable polymorphism
Polymorphism in biology occurs when two or more clearly different phenotypes exist in the same population of a species — in other words, the occurrence of more than one form or morph...
with respect to flower color. Typically, blue-flowered species predominate in the Northern Hemisphere, with red-flowered species dominant in the Andes
The Andes is the world's longest continental mountain range. It is a continual range of highlands along the western coast of South America. This range is about long, about to wide , and of an average height of about .Along its length, the Andes is split into several ranges, which are separated...
(where bird pollination is probably more heavily favored by natural selection). White-flowered species are scattered throughout the range of the genus but dominate in New Zealand. All gentian species have terminal tubular flowers and most are pentamerous, i.e. with 5 corolla lobes (petal
Petals are modified leaves that surround the reproductive parts of flowers. They often are brightly colored or unusually shaped to attract pollinators. Together, all of the petals of a flower are called a corolla. Petals are usually accompanied by another set of special leaves called sepals lying...
s), and 5 sepal
A sepal is a part of the flower of angiosperms . Collectively the sepals form the calyx, which is the outermost whorl of parts that form a flower. Usually green, sepals have the typical function of protecting the petals when the flower is in bud...
s, but 4-7 in some species. The style
Gynoecium is most commonly used as a collective term for all carpels in a flower. A carpel is the ovule and seed producing reproductive organ in flowering plants. Carpels are derived from ovule-bearing leaves which evolved to form a closed structure containing the ovules...
is rather short or absent. The corolla shows folds (= plicae) between the lobes. The ovary is mostly sessile and has nectary glands.
- Gentiana acaulis
Gentiana acaulis is a small gentian native to central and southern Europe from Spain east to the Balkans, growing especially in mountainous regions, such as the Alps, Cevennes and the Pyrenees, at heights of 800 to 3,000 m....
- Gentiana affinis ('Pleated Gentian')
- Gentiana alba
Gentiana alba is a herbaceous species of flowering plant in the Gentian family Gentianaceae, producing yellowish-white colored flowers from thick white taproots...
- Gentiana algida ('Whitish Gentian')
- Gentiana alpina ('Alpine Gentian')
- Gentiana altaica ('Altai Gentian')
- Gentiana amarella
Gentiana amarella is a species of the genus Gentiana....
('Autumn Dwarf Gentian')
- Gentiana amoena
- Gentiana andrewsii
Gentiana andrewsii is a herbaceous species of flowering plant in the Gentian family Gentianaceae....
('Closed bottle Gentian')
- Gentiana angustifolia
- Gentiana asclepiadea
Gentiana asclepiadea is a species of the genus Gentiana. It is native to central and eastern Europe from primarily mountain woodland though it does occur in less wooded open pasture in some areas, perhaps persisting after woodland clearance.One of the larger species within the genus, it produces...
- Gentiana austromontana
Gentiana austromontana is a tall flowering plant in the Gentianaceae family. It is native to the southern Appalachians of West Virginia, Virginia, North Carolina and Tennessee. Very similar to Gentiana clausa, it has paired, lanceolate leaves, usually on unbranched stalks, and blue or purple...
- Gentiana autumnalis
Gentiana autumnalis is a tall flowering plant in the Gentianaceae family. It is native to eastern North America coastal pinebarrens from New Jersey to South Carolina. Fire suppression, invasive weeds, and the altering of natural water flows all pose threats to rare native populations of G....
- Gentiana bavarica ('Bavarian Gentian')
- Gentiana bellidifolia
- Gentiana boryi
- Gentiana brachyphylla
- Gentiana bulleyana
- Gentiana burseri
- Gentiana cachemirica
- Gentiana calycosa
The herbaceous perennial plant Gentiana calycosa is a species of gentian known by the common names Rainier pleated gentian and Mountain bog gentian....
('Rainier Pleated Gentian')
- Gentiana catesbaei
Gentiana catesbaei, commonly called Elliot's Gentian, American Gentian, or Bottle Gentian is a wildflower native the eastern North America...
- Gentiana cephalantha
- Gentiana cerina
- Gentiana clausa
Gentiana clausa is a 1'-2' tall flowering plant in the Gentianaceae family. It is native to Eastern North American moist meadows and woods at higher elevations, from Quebec in the north, through the Appalachian range to North Carolina and Tennessee in the south...
- Gentiana clusii
Gentiana clusii is a large-flowered, short-stemmed gentian, which is very similar to G. acaulis. The two species differ in the presence or absence of green stripes inside the corolla, by the shape of the corners between the petals Gentiana clusii (sometimes called "Clusius' gentian") is a...
- Gentiana crassicaulis
- Gentiana crinita
Gentiana crinita is a biennial herbaceous species. Fringed gentian flowers open on sunny days, but generally remain closed on cloudy days. Individual plants live for only one or two years....
- Gentiana cruciata
Gentiana cruciata, common name Star Gentian or Cross Gentian, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant in the Gentianaceae family.-Description:...
- Gentiana dahurica
- Gentiana decora ('Showy Gentian')
- Gentiana decumbens
- Gentiana dendrologii
- Gentiana depressa
- Gentiana dinarica
- Gentiana douglasiana ('Swamp Gentian')
- Gentiana elwesii
- Gentiana farreri
- Gentiana fetisowii
- Gentiana flavida ('Pale Gentian')
- Gentiana freyniana
- Gentiana frigida
Gentiana frigida is a small flowering plant of the genus Gentiana, native to the Carpathian Mountains and eastern Alps....
- Gentiana froelichii
- Gentiana fremontii ('Moss Gentian')
- Gentiana gelida
- Gentiana gilvo-striata
- Gentiana glauca
Gentiana glauca is a species of flowering plant in the gentian family known by the common names pale gentian and glaucous gentian. It is native to eastern Asia and northwestern North America from Alaska to the Northwest Territories to Washington and Montana.This perennial herb produces a rosette of...
- Gentiana gracilipes
- Gentiana grombczewskii
- Gentiana heterosepala ('Autumn Gentian')
- Gentiana hexaphylla
- Gentiana kesselringii
- Gentiana kurroo
- Gentiana lawrencii
- Gentiana lhassica
- Gentiana linearis
Gentiana linearis is a tall flowering plant in the Gentianaceae family. It is native to northeastern North America from Manitoba to Maine, and to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia, Virginia, and Tennessee...
- Gentiana loderi
- Gentiana lutea
Gentiana lutea is a species of gentian native to the mountains of central and southern Europe. Other names include 'Yellow Gentian', 'Bitter Root', 'Bitterwort', 'Centiyane', and 'Genciana'.-Growth:...
('Great Yellow Gentian')
- Gentiana macrophylla
Gentiana macrophylla, Large leaf Gentian, is called Qin Jiao in Chinese.Synonyms include G. staminea, G. crassiaulisor, G. dahurica. It is a medicinal herb. The root is the most commonly used part...
- Gentiana makinoi
- Gentiana microdonta
- Gentiana newberryi
Gentiana newberryi is a species of gentian known by the common names alpine gentian and Newberry's gentian.It is native to the high mountains of California and Oregon, and its range just extends into Nevada. This is a small perennial herb growing short stems which lie against the ground or snake...
- Gentiana nipponica
- Gentiana nivalis ('Snow Gentian')
- Gentiana nubigena
- Gentiana nutans ('Tundra Gentian')
- Gentiana ochroleuca
- Gentiana olivieri
- Gentiana orbicularis ('Round leaved Gentian')
- Gentiana ornata
- Gentiana pannonica ('Brown Gentian')
- Gentiana paradoxa
- Gentiana parryi
Gentiana parryi is a species of the genus Gentiana....
- Gentiana patula
- Gentiana pennelliana ('Wiregrass Gentian')
- Gentiana phyllocalyx
- Gentiana platypetala ('Broadpetal Gentian')
- Gentiana plurisetosa
Gentiana plurisetosa is a rare species of gentian known by the common names Klamath gentian and bristly gentian.It is native to southern Oregon and northern California, where it is an uncommon resident of wet mountain habitat. This is a perennial herb growing two or more stems which may lie close...
- Gentiana pneumonanthe ('Marsh Gentian')
- Gentiana prolata
- Gentiana prostrata
Gentiana prostrata is a rare species of gentian known by the common name pygmy gentian.It is native to Eurasia and to western North America from Alaska and northern Canada to Colorado and California. It is a resident of moist areas in the high mountains. This is an annual herb reaching only a few...
- Gentiana przewalskii
- Gentiana pterocalyx
- Gentiana puberulenta ('Downy Gentian')
- Gentiana pumila
- Gentiana punctata ('Spotted Gentian')
- Gentiana purpurea
Gentiana purpurea is a plant of genus Gentiana. Flowers July to August . The root is sometimes used in the manufacture of gentian bitters- External links :*....
- Gentiana pyrenaica
- Gentiana quadrifolia
- Gentiana rigescens
- Gentiana rostanii
- Gentiana rubricaulis ('Closed Gentian')
- Gentiana saponaria
Gentiana saponaria is a tall flowering plant in the Gentianaceae family. It is native to eastern North America south of the Great Lakes, from Wisconsin to New York, and south to Texas and Florida...
- Gentiana saxosa
- Gentiana scabra
Gentiana scabra is a species of flowering plant in the Gentian family , found in much of the United states and Japan...
- Gentiana scarlatina
- Gentiana sceptrum
Gentiana sceptrum is a species of gentian known by the common names king's scepter gentian or king's gentian.It is native to the west coast of North America from British Columbia to northern California. It grows in wet areas in the hills and mountains, such as flooded meadows and bogs...
('King's scepter Gentian')
- Gentiana septemfida
Gentiana septemfida is a species of the genus Gentiana....
- Gentiana setigera
Gentiana setigera is a species of gentian known by the common name Mendocino gentian. It is native to southern Oregon and northern California where it grows in wet places in the California Coast Ranges.-Description:...
- Gentiana setulifolia
- Gentiana sikkimensis
- Gentiana sikokiana
- Gentiana sino-ornata
- Gentiana siphonantha
- Gentiana speciosa
- Gentiana squarrosa
- Gentiana stictantha
- Gentiana stragulata
- Gentiana straminea
- Gentiana tenuifolia
- Gentiana terglouensis ('Triglav Gentian')
- Gentiana ternifolia
- Gentiana tianshanica ('Tienshan Gentian')
- Gentiana trichotoma
- Gentiana triflora
Gentiana triflora is a tall, flowering perennial plant in the genus Gentiana native to higher-elevation meadows and forests of China , Mongolia, Eastern Russia, Korea and Japan....
- Gentiana trinervis
- Gentiana tubiflora
- Gentiana utriculosa ('Bladder Gentian')
- Gentiana veitchiorum
- Gentiana venusta
- Gentiana verna ('Spring Gentian')
- Gentiana villosa
Gentiana villosa, the Striped Gentian or Sampson's Snakeroot, is a herbaceous perennial plant belonging to the genus Gentiana. It is found mainly in the Eastern United States and is used medicinally by Native American tribes....
- Gentiana waltonii
- Gentiana wutaiensis
- Gentiana yakushimensis
- Gentiana zollingeri