1A plant of temperate and mountainous regions, which typically has violet or vivid blue trumpet-shaped flowers. Many kinds are cultivated as ornamentals, especially as arctic alpines, and some are of medicinal use.
Family Gentianaceae: genera Gentiana and Gentianella‘As we climb, the maze of trees, ferns, and blueberry bushes gives way to subalpine meadows painted with purple lupine, pale blue gentians, crimson columbine, and yellow arnica.’
- ‘It's a surprisingly verdant mountain - spared by the last glaciation - where rhododendrons, gentians and rare orchids bloom.’
- ‘While bamboo stalks and roots make up about 95 percent of its diet, the giant panda also feeds on gentians, irises, crocuses, fish, and occasionally small rodents.’
- ‘In summer, the meadow is in full bloom; in fall, asters and gentians shine, and the trees put on quite a display.’
- ‘Traditionally, gentians require a peat-based compost but Ian uses a ‘greener’ alternative.’
- 1.1mass noun A tonic liquid substance formerly extracted from the root of the gentian.
- ‘In Western herbal medicine barberry root and gentian are used as bitter tonics to aid digestion.’
Late Middle English from Latin gentiana, according to Pliny named after Gentius, king of Illyria, who is said to have discovered the medicinal properties of a common species.