Willowleaf Gentian: Easiest And Most Satisfying Gentian To Grow

Willowleaf Gentian: Easiest And Most Satisfying Gentian To Grow

Willowleaf Genetian

Photo Compliments of Gernot Militor

Gentiana asclepiadea, or Willowleaf gentian, is one of the easiest and most satisfying gentians to grow. The arching stems are so graceful reaching a height of about 18 to 24 inches. In midsummer buds appear down the center of each stem arises from the upper leaf axils. In late summer to early autumn they open to rich sky-blue trumpet shaped flowers that reach a length of about 2 inches. This handsome perennial is especially effective planted on a slope to create a cascading effect. It also looks great with ferns. Mix it with silver-variegated (Brunnera macrophylla ‘Jack Frost’ or variegated lungworts, for example) or golden-foliage perennials, such as Hakonechloa macra ‘Aureola’, for dramatic contrast.

How To Make Your Willowleaf Gentian Thrive

Willowleaf gentian thrives in part sun or an open spot with bright shade. Be careful to not plant in full sun where it is prone to scorch. It prefers well-drained, humus-rich soil with average water and suffers if it dries out in the summer. It is adaptable to clay, loam, or sand, avoid truly chalky soils.

Garden Uses

You will get wonderful results planting this specimen in a cottage or informal garden, utilized in flower borders and beds, using it as a cut flower, planted in a rock garden, or used as a underplanting for roses and shrubs.

General Willowleaf Gentian Information

Diseases and Pests

Generally disease and pest free.


Propagate by seed sown in pots in an open frame as soon as seed is ripe.

Quick Information

  • Family: Gentianaceae
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial
  • Plant Height: 2 feet to 3 feet
  • Plant Width: 2 feet
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 5a to 9
  • Flower Color: Blue
  • Light Exposure: Part sun to light or open shade
  • Water Requirements: Regular watering during dry weather
  • Habit: Clump forming

Photo Search

Flicker – Willowleaf Gentian Photo

Google –Willowleaf Gentian Photo

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  1. I love these, but we are at the cusp of the hardiness zone (5A) for this variety. I can get Gentiana andrewsii or Bottle Gentain here. Sadly, many of my clients don’t like it, so I don’t spec it often. =-(

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