En EspaŅol
Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Mr. Smarty Plants - Occurrence and uses of Bottle Gentian in the Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
1 rating

Tuesday - December 30, 2008

From: Cosby, TN
Region: Southeast
Topic: Medicinal Plants
Title: Occurrence and uses of Bottle Gentian in the Great Smoky Mountains Nat. Park
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

In mid October of 2008 I was at the Gilliland Cemetery in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Cosby, TN. I found several flowers blooming which completely surprised me due to the time of year. I have since learned that they are Bottle Gentian or Closed Bottle Gentian. Many of the sites that I have visited to find out more information about the plant do not show it as being native to Tennessee. My questions are: How rare a wildflower is the Bottle Gentain, and does it have any medicinal or nutritional value? I did manage to get a couple of digital photos.. Thank you for your time attention.

ANSWER:

The Bottle Gentian, Gentiana clausa (bottle gentian), and the Closed Bottle Gentian, Gentiana andrewsii (closed bottle gentian) are two different species. The Closed Bottle Gentian is not found in Tennessee, but the Bottle Gentian is reported in four of the eastern-most counties in the state (Johnson, Carter, Washington, and Unicoi). Gentiana villosa Gentiana villosa (striped gentian) however does occur in Grainger County. It would be helpful  for us to have your photos, so if you would, go to the Plant Identification page and follow the directions there for sending your pictures to us. For more images of these Gentians, click on the name of the plant: Bottle Gentian, Closed Bottle Gentian, and Stripped Gentian.

The Bottle Gentiana is not considered a rare wildflower by the Department of Environment and Conservation of the State of Tennessee (use the helpful Links box on their page). For more information about rare plants, check out the Rare Plant Information Sources of the U.S. Forest Service.

People over the years have used Gentians for a wide variety of purposes, including medicinal uses. The Bottle Gentian isn't used as a medicinal plant, however other Gentians including the  Closed Bottle Gentian, have a long history of medicinal use, ranging from treatment of anorexia to ulcers.

 

From the Image Gallery


Bottle gentian
Gentiana clausa

Closed bottle gentian
Gentiana andrewsii

Striped gentian
Gentiana villosa

More Medicinal Plants Questions

Fiber and dye plants at the Wildflower Center from Round Rock TX
May 24, 2012 - When I visited the Wildflower Center recently I noticed a garden labeled as containing fiber and dye plants, but the individual plants and their uses were not all labeled. I would be very interested ...
view the full question and answer

Possible medicinal uses of Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides)
April 13, 2006 - I recently read an article about the healing properties of Spanish Moss. It mentioned reducing bad cholesterol in the human body. What exactly are the properties in this plant that are good for you, ...
view the full question and answer

Lippia alba for sale at Wildflower Center
June 09, 2013 - Do you have this plant for sale Lippia Alba. thanks
view the full question and answer

Negative and positive effects of invasive dandelions from Rama Ontario
January 12, 2012 - How do Dandelions have a negative impact of being a invasive and a Positive impact of being a invasive species ?
view the full question and answer

Herbalism and Native American EthnoBotany
June 25, 2007 - What plants cure diarrhea?
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP
© 2014 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center