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Growing European gentians in a lawn meadow area

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Has anyone tried this? I have several different clones of Gentiana acaulis agg. which generally don't flower very impressively.

I have a meadow area in the lawn where the hay rattle keeps the grass down quite well. Has anybody tried planting G. acaulis and / or verna in this setting? Do they grow well there?

Hi, what do you mean by "acaulis agg."? acaulis acaulis likes sour (silicate) acaulis clusii lime clay and wet etc. and verna ssp. verna (also wet, lime questionable as it grows in the moor layer above) seems to be almost impossible in culture, which is why only verns ssp. angulosa can be found, which is said to be significantly more demanding. All of them grow on nutrient-poor meadows and are not competitive in a "normal" meadow.

Hi there,

I suppose I mean acaulis, clusii, ligustica etc (the large-flowered mat-forming perennial alpine gentians). I wasn't thinking of G. verna and related species.

I live at 300m altitude on a thin acidic podzol in north-west Wales. We definitely are not nutrient-rich. I am thinking of these in a setting where I can mow over them when not in flower. It's not really a lawn - lots of moss and also quite a few 'lawn weeds' like Pilosella aurantiaca. I also have Cardamine pratensis and some Dactylorhizas self-seeding. Even when unmown though, the grass does stay fairly short. It has never been fertilised while I have been here (about 18 years now).

I think I may give it a try and report back!

Best wishes, Tristan

... they all have different requirements!
I don't know ligustica, angustifolia could assert itself. I would cultivate Clusii and acaulis in pots. Compromise: dig in the pot and see how you cope with the location. If you have plastic pots, you can also use a soldering iron or a hot wire (over a candle) to melt holes in the side (not too small) then you have control over whether they can hold their own and you do not risk losing the plants. PS: Just to think about: I don't know of any natural location where clusii and acaulis occur together! But I know many locations of both!

Hello Tristan

I am very curious about the result of your experiment. I fully agree with the advice of Catwheazle...You should start by "sinking" pots with appropriate substrate.

Gentiana licustica is particularly beautiful. The wavy foliage is attractive all year round.

He seems to love the current surreal heat... here my specimen...seed from the ligurian alps in NW Italy (1600 meters) limestone!

Good luck with your project...


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