Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!


Plant Database

Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

Enter a Plant Name:
Or you can choose a plant family:
Gentiana clausa (Bottle gentian)
Brundage, Stephanie

Gentiana clausa

Gentiana clausa Raf.

Bottle Gentian, Blind Gentian

Gentianaceae (Gentian Family)


USDA Symbol: gecl

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

Paired, lance-shaped leaves line the usually unbranched, 2 ft. stem. Small groups of blue flowers, which always remain closed, occur in tight clusters at the top of the stem and, in well-developed plants, from lower leaf axils. Upper flowers are subtended by a whorl of leaves.

Bottle Gentian is a member of the family Gentianaceae. Gentians are leafy herbs, commonly with showy bell- or trumpet-shaped flowers blooming in a branched cluster. There are about 70 genera and 1,100 species that occur in many different habitats in temperate and subtropical regions. Some gentians are cultivated as ornamentals.


From the Image Gallery

5 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

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


USA: CT , DC , MA , MD , ME , NC , NH , NJ , NY , OH , PA , RI , TN , VA , VT , WV
Native Distribution: ME to NY, s. to NJ & along mts. to NC
Native Habitat: Wood borders; stream banks

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Moist, rich soil.
Conditions Comments: Strong grower. A mulch of rotted leaves or compost in the spring is beneficial.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes

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 seed or divisions of the root crown. Divide root crowns in fall or early spring and plant 1 ft. apart. Be sure to include a large ball of soil aroung the division when you lift it out. This protects the brittle crown. Germination of seed
Seed Collection: The dried corolla remains intact around the brown capsule as it matures. Seeds are collected just before the first hard freeze when the capsules begin to open and curl back. Tap seed out and store dry in sealed, refrigerated containers for up to four years.
Seed Treatment: Stratify 3 months at 40 degrees.
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 clausa in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Gentiana clausa in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Gentiana clausa


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

Go back