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Gentiana saponaria (Harvestbells)
Cressler, Alan

Gentiana saponaria

Gentiana saponaria L.

Harvestbells, Soapwort Gentian

Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Harvestbells or soapwort gentian, a perennial, grows 8-24 in. tall, having light-green, opposite, lance-shade leaves on slender stems. The blue-violet flowers are bottle-shaped, opening only partly, and occur in terminal or axillary clusters.


From the Image Gallery

19 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Herb
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Blue , Purple , Violet
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AL , AR , DC , DE , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MD , MI , MS , NC , NJ , NY , OH , OK , PA , SC , TN , TX , VA , WV
Native Distribution: S. NY to WI, s. to FL & LA
Native Habitat: Moist depressions; margins of woodland creeks & ponds

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Fertile, sandy loam.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Bumble Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Description: Propagate by division or seed. Scatter seeds on a flat when ripe and cover with a fine mulch. Leaves seedings in the flat until the end of the second growing season. Divide root crowns in fall or early spring and plant 1 ft. apart.
Seed Collection: Cut stems below capsule and tap or shake seeds from it. Store in a sealed, refrigerated container up to four years.
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 Gentiana saponaria in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gentiana saponaria in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gentiana saponaria


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

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