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Gentiana verna

spring gentian

G. verna is a diminutive evergreen perennial slowly forming a mat of narrowly ovate leaves, with solitary, erect, deep sky-blue flowers with white throats, opening in late spring and early summer

Other common names
Lucy of Teesdale
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Size
Ultimate height
Up to 10cm
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0–0.1 metre
Growing conditions
Chalk
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Blue Green
Summer Blue Green
Autumn Green
Winter Green
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Exposed or Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Gentianaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Evergreen
Habit
Matforming
Genus

Gentiana can be annuals, biennials, herbaceous or evergreen perennials, mostly with showy, trumpet or salver-shaped flowers

Name status

Correct

Plant range
Europe

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in light, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in plenty of sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers in an open frame as soon as seed is ripe. Propagate by division or root offsets in spring

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • Patio and container plants
  • Rock garden
  • Gravel garden
  • Garden edging
Pruning

No pruning required

Pests

Slugs and snails may be a problem outdoors. Under glass, watch out for aphids and glasshouse red spider mite

Diseases

Gentian rust may be a problem and various soil fungi may cause stem rots

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