Gentian flower: Meaning, Symbolism and Colors

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The gentian has the widest range of true blue than any flower. Gentian, being a late bloomer, add beauty to your garden far into the fall. Being a lovely perennial reflecting its natural home in Alpine meadows, it draws attention because it’s as beautiful as a picture!

The Gentians (official name: Gentiana) belonging to Gentianaceae family, hails from the Northern Hemisphere’s temperate mountain regions, as well as the Andes. The plant is most common in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, where the climate is more volatile. The plant is named after King Gentius of Illyria (modern-day Albania) who discovered the plant’s healing properties. With over 1,000 species identified in wide variety of geographical locations ranging from bogs to deserts, the Gentians comprises a large genus.

With trumpets shaped flowers and narrow green foliage, the Gentians mesmerize us with its deep blue blossoms. However, the shape, size, and color of a plant differ based on where it is grown. Gentians are resilient plants that prefer to grow in humus-rich, well-draining, gritty, soils in full sun or moderate shade. An interesting feature of the plant is it wilts if given quality soil and nutrients.

It’s a tough plant that grows 10-30 cm tall and is common in rock gardens. These plants are at their finest between July and October. It’s critical to let the plant alone to maintain it healthy and profuse flowering. It’s enough to fertilize these magnificent plants once a year in the spring to keep them going for years.

Chinese gentian (Gentiana sino-ornata), willow gentian (Gentiana asclepidea) and the small spring gentian (Gentiana verna) are three of the most common varieties. Gentian flower has been in use as a remedy for a variety of diseases for generations. Due to the presence of the glycosides, gentiopicrin and amarogentin, it is a bitter herb. The bitter taste is perceived even if diluted 50,000 times. Gentiopicrin may protect the liver in addition to boosting saliva and hydrochloric acid secretion in the mouth and stomach. Gentian can also treat dyspepsia. According to a study, gentian tincture reduces the feeling of fullness after eating, suggesting that it could help those with reduced appetites. Topical application on skin cancers, lowering fevers, and relieving diarrhea are some other traditional applications.

What do Gentian flower symbolize?

Gentian has a number of different connotations.

The gentian is among the three European Alps’ emblematic flowers. The Minamoto clan, which is one of the four major clans that controlled Japanese politics during the Heian period, had the gentian blossom as their emblem. It is the national flower of Belgium’s German-speaking community. The Gentian flower meaning represents passion, allure, loveliness, and sweetness. It is seen on a variety of souvenirs and works of art.

Due to its upright blossoming shape, Gentian flower meaning and symbolization is frequently referred to as the “flower of victory,” alongside Gladiolus. Gentians, in addition to white Lilies and red roses, are frequently seen being laid in the foreign cemetery in Yokohama. Red rose and lily depict love and solemnity while flower meaning of Gentian is “to have sympathy for your pain.”

Japanese people have adored the plant since the Fujiwara period (898- 1185) and then on, the plant is especially popular in Japan. The gentian is the prefectural flower of Japan’s Kumamoto and Nagano cities. Since 1926, the fringed gentian has been the official flower of Yellowstone National Park in the United States.

Gentians have also found their place in poems and novels which boasts about their deep hue. A statue of the D.H Lawrence holding a blue gentian flower is situated at the University of Nottingham, England owing to the author’s fondness to the flower. Gentian root had a significant part in mythology. It was widely employed in place of mandrake, which was highly expensive at the time, for countless incantations and ceremonies during the Middle Ages.

What do the various colors of the Gentian flower mean?

Flowers of the gentian plant are often blue or purplish blue, with slight color variations such as rose, white and yellow. The flowers, particularly Gentiana pneumonanthe, a source of blue dye, have been used to make dyes.

Yellow Gentian flowers

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Yellow Gentian flower meaning represents power and strength. These flowers are known as appetite powder in veterinary medicine. Their medical and ornamental properties make it extremely useful.

Rose Gentian flowers

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Rose gentians or Sabatia angularis gets its name inspired from an Italian botanist, Liberato Sabbati. Pink color of the flower represents grace, femininity, tenderness and happiness.

White Gentian flower

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White flowers can convey reverence, modesty, freshness and simplicity. The color can be either strong and spectacular or soft and self-effacing.

Interesting facts and characteristics of the Gentian flower

Just like how magnificent Gentian flower meaning are, there are some highly intriguing and interesting facts linked with the plant. Here are some fascinating facts about Gentian flowers:

  1. Those who lived in the mountains used Gentians to predict whether winter would be severe or not, the longer the gentian flowered, the longer and harsher the winter would be.
  2. Gentian has been an ingredient in liqueurs, bitters and herbal medication for decades.
  3. For generations, painters have waxed poetry about it. Poets, Emily Dickinson and DH Lawrence had a great liking for the flower and wrote lovely poetry about it.
  4. Gentians pollinate in an unusual way. The buds of some gentian flowers will not open till the suitable pollinator pushes them to reveal their inner pistils and stamens, which is a fascinating feature of gentian flowers.
  5. Gentian was frequently used as an antidote to poison in the Middle Ages. The 16th century German botanist and physician Hieronymus Bock acknowledges the root’s use for wound dilating.
  6. Gentian roots were kept in shoes by mountain farmers in the Alpine regions to help with weak, sweating feet.
  7. Periwinkle, Milkweed, Madder, Coffee and Dogbanes are close members of the gentian family.
  8. Propagating Gentian flowers away from their natural habitat can be extremely difficult.
  9. They die above soil surface and hibernate beneath the earth if disturbed.
  10. Very rarely, Gentians are used in soaps and perfumes.

Best time to gift someone Gentian flowers

Gentians make up for great gifts to commemorate triumph since they represent victory. Gentians and roses were used in the Tokyo Paralympics to honor the glorious moments of participants during the game. The Gentians, together with Eustomas, bordered the roses in these triumph bouquets, the Gentian flower meaning all those who support and cheer for athletes from all across the world.

Gentian flowers can alleviate any bouquets or gifts with its gorgeous colors. Gentian flowers symbolizes desire, enticement, elegance, and purity and is perfect to gift your loved ones. The flower captures attention because of its symbolism in floral language. This lovely blossom is a symbol of perseverance. Its the stunning color that make it appealing and perfect for gifts and decorations.

A gentian represents a wide range of beneficial properties. These deep symbolization and meanings give the flower its uniqueness and identity.