Gentiana purpurea

Submitted by Hoy on

This one you can encounter in the lower alpine areas in Norway. Once an important remedy (gentianae radix) for stomach problems it was exported in huge quanta. Now almost extinct many places do to gathering of roots.

It is a pleasure to come upon it on your hikes.


Submitted by Boland on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 10:12

Tried that one from seed with no success.  :'(

Submitted by McGregorUS on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 12:19

I've tried it as well Todd - it's such a handsome plant I think - but with equally little success. Maybe someone out there has some trick.


Submitted by Hoy on Mon, 07/26/2010 - 13:05

I grow it by my cabin in the mountains, no tricks there but I have never tried sowing it, neither tried it in the lowlands. Think it needs cool conditions!

Submitted by vanachterberg on Tue, 07/27/2010 - 14:10

I have tried seed of this plant for years because Henry Correvon wrote in his marvellous 1930 book Rock Garden and Alpine Plants that
G. purpurea "is a marvel, to my idea at least...The flowers are opened only by the sun and are of a velvet red-brown colour, a rich Vandyck brown...The delicate fragrance of the flowers is one of the sweetest I know..." Seed failed to germinate until last year and my seedlings are still in their pot.  They came through our recent heatwave against a north wall without any difficulty, but after reading the replies to Hoy I think I may try to grow them in a deep double walled pot, and winter them in the alpine house.  Or maybe I can somehow find enough sun for them to bloom outdoors without baking them. Or maybe I'll offer them to my cousin in Nova Scotia.
Barbara van Achterberg, Connecticut

Submitted by Hoy on Thu, 07/29/2010 - 04:32

Barbara, if you have more than one plant you can do all! Good luck!

Submitted by vanachterberg on Tue, 03/22/2011 - 19:00

My pot of Gentiana purpurea is greening up again in the alpine house--there are several plants in it, now perhaps ready to put in a larger pot or pots, to move about to find spots that are both sunny enough and cool enough to bloom next summer--I doubt that there is a place in the ground that will suit it.