Chinese Gentian   
Foto info
Chinese Gentian
Photo: Thomas Kornack
Common name: Chinese Gentian, Fall gentian
Botanical name: Gentiana sino-ornata    Family: Gentianaceae (gentian family)

This is a ground hugging perennial plant from China and Sikkim, where it grows in wet ground - the flowers exhibiting a range of colour from royal blue to purple-blue and interspersed with greenish-yellow bands. Chinese Gentians die ack each winter to fleshy crowns. Growth commences in early spring and the developing leafy stems, often branched, can reach a length of 9 - 10", often rooting along their length. Each shoot tip has a solitary, funnel-shaped flower about 2" long. It differs from G. ornata which has paler, more slender, blue coloured flowers and narrower and longer leaves. Gentians are thought to be named after Gentius, King of Illyria (present-day Albania), who was the first to use this plant medicinally.

Photographed in North Sikkim.
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