Gentiana Tourn. ex L.

This genus is accepted, and its native range is Temp. Eurasia, Tropical Asian Mountains to SE. Australia, N. & Central America, W. & S. South America to NW. Venezuela, Falkland Islands.


Ghazanfar, S. A. & Edmondson, J. R (Eds). (2014) Flora of Iraq, Volume 5 Part 2: Lythraceae to Campanulaceae.

Morphology General Habit
Annual, biennial or perennial herbs, diffuse or erect
Morphology Leaves
Leaves opposite, sessile, entire
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers
Flowers usually blue, axillary, cymose or solitary and terminal, sessile or shortly pedicellate
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Calyx
Calyx tubular, usually shortly, (4‒)5(‒7)-lobed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Corolla
Corolla ± tubular-campanulate, lobes spreading, (4‒)5(‒7)-lobed, with a small tooth-like lobe in each sinus
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Androecium Stamens
Stamens shorter than the corolla
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Ovary
Ovary 1-locular
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Style
Style short or absent
Morphology Reproductive morphology Flowers Gynoecium Stigma
Stigma 2-lobed
Morphology Reproductive morphology Fruits
Capsule 2-valved
Morphology Reproductive morphology Seeds
Seeds numerous, globose or lenticular, rarely winged.
Gentiana (name of plant in Pliny after Gentius, King of Illyria (W Balkans) who was reputed to have discovered its medicinal properties). Gentian. Ibn Baitar mentions the name JANTIANA, an obvious transliteration of the Latin name, BELCHELCHEKA (BALSHALSHIKA) (in the Arabic of Andalusia, an apparent corruption of the Greek ‘basilika’), KUSHAD (Pers.) and SÎNANDIĀN (Greek): also KAFF ADH-DHÎB and DAWĀ ‘L-HAIYA (from its reputation as an antidote for snake bite).

The root of G. lutea, Yellow Gentian, has long been known in Europe as a popular an innocuous bitter tonic, used to improve the appetite and stimulate digestion, this being the Gentian Root of commerce. Uphof (1959) says it is used in the manufacture of liqueurs and made into Gentian Bitter. He mentions that a decoction of the roots of another specices (G. adsurgens) is used as a stomachic and stimulant by the Maya Indians of S Mexico and The flowers of a European species (G. pneumonanthe) provide the source of a blue dye (Uphof 1959).

Native to:

Afghanistan, Alabama, Alaska, Albania, Alberta, Aleutian Is., Altay, Amur, Argentina Northeast, Argentina Northwest, Argentina South, Arizona, Arkansas, Assam, Austria, Baltic States, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Borneo, British Columbia, Bulgaria, Buryatiya, California, Cambodia, Central European Rus, Chile Central, Chile North, Chile South, China North-Central, China South-Central, China Southeast, Chita, Colombia, Colorado, Connecticut, Corse, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Delaware, Denmark, District of Columbia, East European Russia, East Himalaya, Ecuador, Falkland Is., Finland, Florida, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Hainan, Hungary, Iceland, Idaho, Illinois, India, Indiana, Inner Mongolia, Iowa, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Irkutsk, Italy, Japan, Jawa, Kamchatka, Kansas, Kazakhstan, Kentucky, Khabarovsk, Kirgizstan, Korea, Krasnoyarsk, Krym, Kuril Is., Labrador, Laos, Lebanon-Syria, Louisiana, Magadan, Maine, Malaya, Manchuria, Manitoba, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mexico Central, Mexico Gulf, Mexico Northeast, Mexico Northwest, Mexico Southeast, Mexico Southwest, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Mongolia, Montana, Morocco, Myanmar, Nansei-shoto, Nebraska, Nepal, Netherlands, Nevada, New Brunswick, New Guinea, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New South Wales, New York, North Carolina, North Caucasus, North Dakota, North European Russi, Northwest European R, Northwest Territorie, Norway, Ohio, Oklahoma, Ontario, Oregon, Pakistan, Panamá, Pennsylvania, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Primorye, Qinghai, Québec, Rhode I., Romania, Sakhalin, Sardegna, Saskatchewan, South Carolina, South Dakota, South European Russi, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sulawesi, Sumatera, Sweden, Switzerland, Tadzhikistan, Taiwan, Tennessee, Texas, Thailand, Tibet, Transcaucasus, Turkey, Turkey-in-Europe, Turkmenistan, Tuva, Ukraine, Utah, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vermont, Victoria, Vietnam, Virginia, Washington, West Himalaya, West Siberia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Xinjiang, Yakutskiya, Yugoslavia, Yukon

Gentiana Tourn. ex L. appears in other Kew resources:

Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status Has image?
Melville, R. [5977], New Zealand 36964.000 No
Melville, R. [6129], New Zealand 36970.000 No
Melville, R. [6480], New Zealand 36983.000 No
Wood, J.R.I. [14664], Bolivia K000014444 Yes
Rico, L. [2041], Mexico K000266018 No

First published in Sp. Pl.: 227 (1753)

Accepted by

  • Govaerts, R. (2003). World Checklist of Seed Plants Database in ACCESS G: 1-40325.


Flora of Iraq

  • Linnaeus, Gen. Pl. ed. 5, 285 (1754)
  • Linnaeus, Sp. Pl. ed. 1, 227 (1753);

  • Flora of Iraq

  • Herbarium Catalogue Specimens

    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew

  • Kew Backbone Distributions

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone

    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2022. Published on the Internet at and
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families.

  • Kew Science Photographs

    Copyright applied to individual images