Closed Bottle Gentian

Gentiana andrewsii Gentianaceae

Other names

Closed Gentian, Bottle Gentian

Growth habit


Native distribution

Native to the Finger Lakes Region, Northern North America


Seed Treatment and Storage: Seeds need light to germinate. Surface sow in seed starting mix or similar medium. Moist cold stratify 30-60 days.

Biocultural value

The Haudenosaunee used bottle gentian roots for a variety of medicinal applciations, including as an analgesic, eye medicine, liver medicine, headache remedy, and, when applied as a poultice, orthopedic aid for muscle soreness. The Meskwaki also used the plant to heal snakebites.

The statements above were sourced from:

Native American Ethnobotany Database: http://naeb.BRIT Native American Ethnobotany

Wildlife value

Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) are the only insect that has been observed forcing open bottle gentian's pleated corolla to collect pollen. Worker bumble bees also rob nectar through holes chewed in the base of the corolla. Blister beetles (family Meloidae) feed on the flowers.


Mundy Wildflower Garden

Source of plant



Closed bottle gentian is a 1-2 ft. plant with narrow, purplish leaves whorled or opposite below clusters of purple flowers which stay closed. Dark blue, bottle-like, cylindrical flowers, nearly closed at tips, in tight clusters atop stem and sometimes in axils of upper leaves. Robust plants may have two whorls of flowers. When in full bloom, the flower looks like a bud about to open.

USDA Hardiness Zone