Gentiana acaulis

trumpet gentian

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

  • © Richie Steffen / Great Plant Picks

Outstanding Qualities

Once you see this small perennial in bloom you will forever lust after it. Unbelievably blue trumpet-shaped flowers are barely perched on top of the low ground-hugging foliage. Each brilliant bloom faces upward showing its electric blue petals with vibrant green stripes sinking into the flower’s throat. This gentian is surprisingly easy to grow and is quite long lived in the garden. There are a number of excellent selections available that will perform well in the maritime Pacific Northwest.

Quick Facts

Plant Type: clumping perennial

Foliage Type: evergreen

Plant Height: 0 ft. 5 in. (0.12 meters)

Plant Width/Spread: 1 ft. 0 in. (0.30 meters)

Hardiness: USDA Zones 3 to 9

Flower Color: blue

Sun/Light Exposure: full sun to light shade

Water Requirements: regular watering

Seasonal Interest: electric blue flowers in spring

Wildlife Associations: bees

Colors & Combos

Great Color Contrasts: chartreuse, cream, red, yellow

Great Color Partners: bronze, burgundy, purple, silver, violet

Culture Notes
Trumpet gentian grows and flowers best in full sun to light or open shade. It prefers a good well-draining soil and does not like water logged locations. Water regularly during dry weather.
Geek Notes
This diminutive plant is a high alpine native of central and southern Europe including the Alps, Cevennes, Pyrenees, and Balkans growing from 2,600 to 9,900 feet (800 to 3,000 m) in elevation.