Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Perennials for Fall: Gentiana "True Blue"

Ever hear of Gentian Blue? It is a paint colour.

These are not growing in the Alps. They are gowing in full sun on the North Fork of Long Island, outside the little town of Cutchogue, reputedly the sunniest place in New York state. They are Gentiana scabra, and Jim and Joanne Glover are growing them for future sale. These were blooming electrically in their perennial border and drew me like a hungry bee. They are easy to grow but difficult to propagate, explained their nursery manager.

The mound they form is about 4" high and perhaps 18" in diameter. They will be blooming for the next couple of weeks.

I did actually find some for sale at another nursery a week or two ago, and they are planted now on a rooftop in Chelsea, and are in fact a pink cultivar (Gentian pink?...uh...); if the blue had been available then I would have snapped it up.
Look for a cultivar called Gentiana "True Blue" (the ones I saw and also bought yesterday at another nursery were grown by Sunny Borders in Connecticut). Google the flower and see what's available, where. For a sunny spot (no fewer than 6 hours of direct sun), these are stunning. Zones 4-7.
This September-sky blue is the most blessed relief from rusty chrysanthemums...


  1. You are right, they are gorgeous. I would LOVE some of those in my garden, but alas, not enough sunshine to accommodate.

  2. I'm a little more "red" inclined myself (red of the jam in your previous post, red of many berries in my next) but this is gorgeous blue. Too bad it's not a fall color... (just kidding) ;-)

  3. Amazing color - I think I needed that.

  4. I like the rusty color of some of the pushed-upon-us-seasonally mums [she said sheepishly], but I do think that the flowers themselves seem a little... tense.

    These are gorgeous. You may inspire me to start gardening again.

    Thanks for stopping by the croft the other day, the compliment was quite the pick-me-up.

  5. You're so right...a real change from the mums....but I saw two blazing scarlet mums in front of a house yesterday and they broke the mold when they planted these...the colour was divine...

  6. Gentian Blue - from the watercolour paintboxes of colonial childhood. Too wonderful!

  7. Ms Hound - I think I have blue for you that will cope with your sunshine situation...But it's big. And will start to bloom ...in a few days.

    Beence - looking forward to your berries. Um...Nevermind :-)

    Amarilla, glad it helped!

    Melanie - yes, I'm too judgemental. And you're right, the do look tense!

    Lavinia - will you carve pumkins for Halloween?

    Anonymous: watercolour paintboxes. My goodness. I haven't thought about those since...then. Gosh. I can remember different ones that I loved. Sniff. Now I've graduated to tubes...


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