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.
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.
Native to California. Flowers are white, marked with fine purple lines and dots; a large purple dot ap...
Native to central and eastern North America. Similar to A. pachypoda, but with poisonous berr...
This is a bushy, rounded subshrub that grows to 1 1/2 ft. high and wide. Foliage is dark green, and gi...