Downy Gentian, gentiana puberulenta

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Downy gentian (sometimes called prairie gentian) is a hidden gem in the world of native prairie flowers. It’s the kind of flower that is spoken of in hushed tones by the botanical crowd, its locations shared only with those deemed ready to approach it with the proper respect.

Unlike other native gentians, the downy gentian inhabits dry hillsides. It blooms late in the year, usually in early September, while the surrounding prairie is descending into oranges and golds. To find one feels like being transported to another world, one where unspeakable beauty grows unbidden on forgotten hillsides. One, apparently—and possibly—like this.

I am not yet sure if I will be offering the downy gentian for sale. This page is for now the placeholder for an aspiration. It is an incredibly slow growing plant which makes it very difficult to propagate from seed. I have been working at it for years, only this year clearing some major hurdles. I am close enough now where selling some is a distinct possibility, but not close enough to make them available.

There is much that I don’t yet know about this flower. As of this writing, I am tending to hundreds of four-month-old downies. They are still just rosettes, but their roots are becoming thick and fat! They have been very temperamental while reaching this point. How will they fare when planted out? I need more time with them, time to listen.

Ideally I would like to sell these to conservation organizations that are working to reconstruct and rehabilitate our remaining prairie ecosystems. Perhaps they would also make a beautiful garden plant, but since they are almost never sold, I have no way to know. If you would like to be notified in the event that I open these special plants up for sale, be sure to sign up to be emailed in the form at the top of this page. Wish me luck!

Life Cycle: Perennial
Size: 12 inches
Sun: Full, Partial
Soil: Medium-Dry, Dry
Bloom Time:  August, September, October
Advantages:  Deer Resistant