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Gentianopsis crinita (Greater fringed gentian)
Cressler, Alan

Gentianopsis crinita

Gentianopsis crinita (Froel.) Ma

Greater Fringed Gentian, Fringed Gentian

Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)

Synonym(s): Anthopogon crinitum, Gentiana crinita, Gentiana ventricosa, Gentianella crinita, Gentianella crinita ssp. nevadensis

USDA Symbol: GECR2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

Greater fringed-gentian is a beautiful, autumn-flowering plant, 8-30 in. tall, often branched above. Showy, blue flowers have four spreading petals that are fringed at the end and part way down the sides. A single, blue, fringed flower, opening in the sun and closing at night, is at the end of each erect stem of a branching plant. The petals are twisted together when the flower is closed.

One of the most beautiful of the gentians, with its delicately fringed petals and striking blue color, it is becoming rare and must not be picked. It is a biennial, and along with the other gentians, is among the last wildflowers to bloom in the late summer and fall. The Smaller Fringed Gentian (G. virgata) is similar but has narrow leaves, a shorter fringe, and is only 6-18 inches (15-45 cm) high. It occurs in midwestern, boggy prairies and limy areas. Both the common and generic names of this group come from that of King Gentius of Illyria, who, according to the Ancient Roman naturalist Pliny, discovered the medicinal qualities of the roots for use as an emetic, cathartic, and tonic.


From the Image Gallery

53 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 30 inches tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Blue
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: CT , DE , GA , IA , IL , IN , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , NC , ND , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WI , WV
Canada: ON
Native Distribution: S. ME to MD & mts. of GA, w. to Man. & IA
Native Habitat: Moist, limey woods; meadows; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil Description: Moist, limey soils.
Conditions Comments: To form a colony, seedlings must be set out two consecutive years. If the plants are given the proper conditions they will self-sow.


Description: Seeds must be sown as soon as ripe as they lose viability quickly. Scratch seeds onto the soil. Plants grow very little the first year, but with care they will mature, bloom, set seed and die, completing their life cycle, the second year.
Seed Collection: Approximate collection date in northern U.S.: Late Oct. through Nov. Seeds can be allowed to dry out before sowing.
Seed Treatment: This species requires or benefits from a three month period of cold moist stratification in the refrigerator.
Commercially Avail: yes

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE

Web Reference

Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter

Additional resources

USDA: Find Gentianopsis crinita in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gentianopsis crinita in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gentianopsis crinita


Record Modified: 2023-02-13
Research By: TWC Staff

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