Closed Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii

Closed Bottle Gentian

Gentiana andrewsii

Sun Shade:
Bloom Time: Fall
Zones: 3, 4, 5
Soil Conditions: Acid, Loam
Soil Moisture: Moist, Medium
Color: Blue
Fragrance: No
Height: 1 to 2 feet
Spacing: 1 to 1.5 feet


Closed Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) is a native wildflower which is most often found in moist woods, thickets and low wooded areas near streams and ponds. Typically grows 1-2 feet tall and features tight clusters of tubular (bottle-shaped), deep blue flowers which never open. Flower clusters appear at the tops of the stems or in the upper leaf axils in late summer to early autumn . Ovate, lance-shaped leaves (to 4 inches long) with parallel veins.

The blooming period can occur from late summer to early fall, and usually lasts about a month. There is no noticeable floral scent. The small seeds can be transported by water or wind some distance from a mother plant. The root system consists of a stout taproot. Vegetative reproduction does not normally occur.

Habitats include moist black soil prairies, openings in floodplain forests, thickets, fens, and swampy areas near bodies of water. This plant often occurs in calcareous soil.

Best grown in moist, rich, cool, humusy, acidic, well-drained soils in part shade. Dislikes hot nights. If left undisturbed, plants in optimum growing conditions will naturalize over time into large clumps.

Plant Notes and Herbal Uses
  Good for rock gardens if left in part shade.
Further Information

Wild Ones of the Fox Valley Area
Prairie Nursery
Wisconsin DNR
Wisconsin Native Plant Nurseries