Plant of the Month for September 2019

Gentiana septemfida
Gentiana septemfida

General Description:

Called the crested or summer gentian, Gentiana septemfida is one of the most easily grown gentians.  It is native to subalpine and alpine meadows of the Caucasus Mountains and nearby Turkey.  Plants have somewhat trailing stems 20-30 cm long.  The opposite leaves are sessile, ovate in outline and deep green. The stems end in a solitary (var. lagodechiana) or cluster of cobalt-blue flowers that are about 4 cm across.

Cultivation:

This gentian prefers evenly moist but well-drained relatively organic soil in sun or part shade.  It is not drought-tolerant but can survive in warm, humid summer areas. They are not particular about the soil pH.  It is hardy to zone 3.

Blooming Season:

July in the south to September in the north.

Propagation:

Cuttings, seeds

Seeds:

A 8-10 week stratification period is required for seeds to break dormancy.

Cuttings:

Early spring cuttings usually root fairly easily.

Division:

Not commonly practiced as plants have a dense crown and are somewhat tap-rooted.

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