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Gentiana
Gentiana verna
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana L.
Species

See text.

Gentiana (pronounced /ˌdʒɛntʃiˈeɪnə/)[1] is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Gentian family (Gentianaceae), tribe Gentianeae and monophyletic subtribe Gentianinae. With about 400 species, it is considered a large genus.

Contents

Habitat

Gentiana frigida

This is a cosmopolitan genus, occurring in alpine habitats of temperate regions of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Some species also occur in northwest Africa, eastern Australia and New Zealand. They consist of annual, biennial and perennial plants. Some are evergreen, others are not.

Many gentians are difficult to grow outside their wild habitat, but several species are available in cultivation. Gentians are fully hardy and like full sun or partial shade, and neutral to acid soil that is rich in humus and well drained. They are popular in rock gardens.

The name is a tribute to an Gentius, an Illyrian king who was thought[2] to have found out that the herbs had tonic properties.

Uses

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Medicinal uses

Some species are of medicinal use and their roots were harvested for the manufacture of tonic liquor like Suze or similar liquors.

Drink uses

Gentian is also used as a flavouring, for example in bitters, and the soft drink "Moxie" which contains "Gentian Root Extractives".
The French liqueur Suze is made from yellow gentian. The Italian brewery Del Borgo brews a beer, geniziana, with gentian as an adjunct.

Species

General

Gentians have opposite leaves that are sometimes arranged in a basal rosette, and trumpet-shaped flowers that are usually deep blue or azure, but may vary from white, creamy and yellow to red. Many species also show considerable polymorphism with respect to flower color. Typically, blue-flowered species predominate in the Northern Hemisphere, with red-flowered species dominant in the Andes (where bird pollination is probably more heavily favored by natural selection). White-flowered species are scattered throughout the range of the genus but dominate in New Zealand. All gentian species have terminal tubular flowers and most are pentamerous, i.e. with 5 corolla lobes (petals), and 5 sepals, but 4-7 in some species. The style is rather short or absent. The corolla shows folds (= plicae) between the lobes. The ovary is mostly sessile and has nectary glands.

Species classification

  • Gentiana acaulis ('Stemless Gentian')
  • Gentiana affinis ('Pleated Gentian')
  • Gentiana alba ('Plain Gentian')
  • Gentiana algida ('Whitish Gentian')
  • Gentiana alpina ('Alpine Gentian')
  • Gentiana altaica ('Altai Gentian')
  • Gentiana amarella ('Autumn Dwarf Gentian')
  • Gentiana amoena
  • Gentiana andrewsii ('Closed bottle Gentian')
  • Gentiana angustifolia
  • Gentiana asclepiadea ('Willow Gentian')
  • Gentiana austromontana ('Appalachian Gentian')
  • Gentiana autumnalis ('Pinebarren Gentian')
  • Gentiana bavarica ('Bavarian Gentian')
  • Gentiana bellidifolia
  • Gentiana boryi
  • Gentiana brachyphylla
  • Gentiana bulleyana
  • Gentiana burseri
  • Gentiana cachemirica
  • Gentiana calycosa ('Rainier Pleated Gentian')
  • Gentiana catesbaei ('Elliott's Gentian')
  • Gentiana cephalantha
  • Gentiana cerina
  • Gentiana clausa ('Bottled Gentian')
  • Gentiana clusii ('Trumpet Gentian')
  • Gentiana crassicaulis
  • Gentiana crinita ('Fringed Gentian')
  • Gentiana cruciata ('Cross Gentian')
  • Gentiana dahurica
  • Gentiana decora ('Showy Gentian')
  • Gentiana decumbens
  • Gentiana dendrologii
  • Gentiana depressa
  • Gentiana dinarica
  • Gentiana douglasiana ('Swamp Gentian')
  • Gentiana elwesii
  • Gentiana farreri
  • Gentiana fetisowii
  • Gentiana flavida ('Pale Gentian')
  • Gentiana freyniana
  • Gentiana frigida
  • Gentiana froelichii
  • Gentiana fremontii ('Moss Gentian')
  • Gentiana gelida
  • Gentiana gilvo-striata
  • Gentiana glauca ('Pale Gentian')
  • Gentiana gracilipes
  • Gentiana grombczewskii
  • Gentiana heterosepala ('Autumn Gentian')
  • Gentiana hexaphylla
  • Gentiana kesselringii
  • Gentiana kurroo
  • Gentiana lawrencii
  • Gentiana lhassica
  • Gentiana linearis ('Narrowleaf Gentian')
  • Gentiana loderi
  • Gentiana lutea ('Great Yellow Gentian')
  • Gentiana macrophylla ('Bigleaf Gentian')
  • Gentiana makinoi
  • Gentiana microdonta
  • Gentiana newberryi ('Newberry's Gentian')
  • Gentiana nipponica
  • Gentiana nivalis ('Snow Gentian')
  • Gentiana nubigena
  • Gentiana nutans ('Tundra Gentian')
  • Gentiana ochroleuca
  • Gentiana olivieri
  • Gentiana ornata
  • Gentiana pannonica ('Brown Gentian')
  • Gentiana paradoxa
  • Gentiana parryi ('Parry's Gentian')
  • Gentiana patula
  • Gentiana pennelliana ('Wiregrass Gentian')
  • Gentiana phyllocalyx
  • Gentiana platypetala ('Broadpetal Gentian')
  • Gentiana plurisetosa ('Bristly Gentian')
  • Gentiana pneumonanthe ('Marsh Gentian')
  • Gentiana prolata
  • Gentiana prostrata ('Pygmy Gentian')
  • Gentiana przewalskii
  • Gentiana pterocalyx
  • Gentiana puberulenta ('Downy Gentian')
  • Gentiana pumila
  • Gentiana punctata ('Spotted Gentian')
  • Gentiana purpurea ('Purple Gentian')
  • Gentiana pyrenaica
  • Gentiana quadrifolia
  • Gentiana rigescens
  • Gentiana rostanii
  • Gentiana rubricaulis ('Closed Gentian')
  • Gentiana saponaria ('Harvestbells Gentian')
  • Gentiana saxosa
  • Gentiana scabra
  • Gentiana scarlatina
  • Gentiana sceptrum ('King's scepter Gentian')
  • Gentiana septemfida ('Crested Gentian')
  • Gentiana setigera ('Mendocino Gentian')
  • Gentiana setulifolia
  • Gentiana sikkimensis
  • Gentiana sikokiana
  • Gentiana sino-ornata
  • Gentiana siphonantha
  • Gentiana speciosa
  • Gentiana squarrosa
  • Gentiana stictantha
  • Gentiana stragulata
  • Gentiana straminea
  • Gentiana tenuifolia
  • Gentiana terglouensis ('Triglav Gentian')
  • Gentiana ternifolia
  • Gentiana tianshanica ('Tienshan Gentian')
  • Gentiana trichotoma
  • Gentiana triflora
  • Gentiana trinervis
  • Gentiana tubiflora
  • Gentiana utriculosa ('Bladder Gentian')
  • Gentiana veitchiorum
  • Gentiana venusta
  • Gentiana verna ('Spring Gentian')
  • Gentiana villosa ('Striped Gentian')
  • Gentiana waltonii
  • Gentiana wutaiensis
  • Gentiana yakushimensis
  • Gentiana zollingeri
Autumn Gentian ( Gentiana amarella )
Closed Bottle Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii)
Rainier Pleated Gentian (Gentiana calycosa)
Great Yellow Gentian (Gentiana lutea)
Marsh Gentian (Gentiana pneumonanthe)
Willow Gentian (Gentiana asclepiadea)
Bottle Gentian (Gentiana clausa)
Rainier Pleated Gentian (Gentiana calycosa)
Parry's Gentian (Gentiana parryi)
Crested Gentian (Gentiana septemfida)
Spring Gentian (Gentiana verna)

In culture

  • Gentian is mentioned in the ninth of Rainer Maria Rilke's Duino Elegies.
  • "Gentian" is the title of a short story by Mary E. Wilkins Freeman.
  • "Bavarian Gentians" is the name of a poem by D. H. Lawrence.
  • It is mentioned multiple times in Thomas Pynchon's Gravity's Rainbow'. Also, a character in the book is named Enzian, which is the German term for gentian.
  • A poem by William Cullen Bryant is entitled "To the Fringed Gentian."
  • The gentian is referenced in Emily Dickinson's poem number 442: "God made a little Gentian-// It tried- to be a Rose-"
  • In Aldous Huxley's "Island", Susila writes a poem describing all she has gained and lost as gentians in the Alpine grass.
  • In Vladimir Nabokov's Ada or Ardor, Marina Veen is supposed to have an allergy to Gentian flowers: "...maybe some allergy to flat dry old flowers, an attack of hay fever, or gentianitis, as a slightly later diagnosis might have shown retrospectively" (65).

References

  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^ [http://books.google.com/books?id=bffkmpjLa8EC&pg=PA763&dq=Gentiana+gentius&hl=el&cd=2#v=onepage&q=Gentiana%20gentius&f=false A manual of the flowering plants of California by Willis Linn Jepson]

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids I
Ordo: Gentianales
Familia: Gentianaceae
Genus: Gentiana
Sectiones: G. sect. Calathianae - G. sect.  Chondrophylla - G. sect. Ciminalis - G. sect. Cruciata - G. sect.  Dolichocarpa - G. sect. Fimbriocorona - G. sect. Frigida - G. sect. Gentiana - G. sect. Isomeria - G. sect. Kudoa - G. sect. Microsperma - G. sect. Monopodiae - G. sect. Otophora -G. sect. Phyllocalyx - G. sect.  Pneumonanthe - G. sect. Stenogyne

Resource

"Ho & Liu, A worldwide monograph of Gentiana, Science Press, Beijing & New York, 2001"

Vernacular name

Magyar: Tárnics
Русский: Горечавка
Türkçe: Centiyan

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