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Perennials, Flowers

Gentians are prized for their tubular flowers in intense blue shades. Many are considered difficult to grow, but G. asclepiadea needs little more than consistent moisture and humus-rich soil with excellent drainage. Some require lime-free soil, as noted. Well worth the extra care, as they produce some of the richest blues in the garden.

Gentiana asclepiadea (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)
Gentiana asclepiadea (photo courtesy of Jerry Pavia)

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Gentiana asclepiadea

Native to Europe and western Asia. Arching, large-leafed stems form a clump 2–3 ft. tall and 1 1/2 ft. wide. In late summer and early fall, rich, deep blue, 1 1/2-in., trumpet-shaped flowers open into stars atop the stems and among the upper leaves. Thrives in rich, neutral to acidic soil; makes a choice companion for ferns. Partial shade.

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