Additional notes (click to expand)


This popular genus of garden plants is named after Gentius, King of Illyria (the western Balkan Peninsula) in 181–168 BC. Gentius had a powerful navy of 270 warships (lembi) and like most kings of this era he fought constant wars, fi ghting with the Romans against Macedonia, and then changing sides only to be defeated and brought captive to Rome in 168 BC. The species name of G. asclepiadea refers to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine (qv Asclepias tuberosa, p26). Gentius ‘discovered’ the medicinal value of the root of Gentiana lutea according to Dioscorides, who recommends it for animal bites, sprains, healing wounds and (as a pessary) as an abortifacient.
Oakeley, Dr. Henry. (2012). Doctors in the Medicinal Garden. Plants named after physicians. Royal College of Physicians. link

Geographical distribution

  • Asia-Temperate, China, Qinghai
  • Asia-Temperate, China, Tibet

Gentiana sino-ornata Balf.

Genus: Gentiana
Species: sino-ornata Balf.
Common names: Showy Chinese gentian
Distribution summary: West China,Tibet
Habit: Sub-Shrub
Hardiness: H4 - Hardy; average winter
Habitat: Inland up to 2100m in rocky crevices
Garden status: Not currently grown
Flowering months: September
Reason for growing: Commemorative

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