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Author Topic: Gentiana acaulis  (Read 7803 times)

Michael

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Gentiana acaulis
« on: November 17, 2007, 09:56:06 PM »
Hi!

I have a book that says this species of Gentiana is hard to bloom and we need to smash the leaves (like cows do in their natural habitat) to promote flowering. To those of you who grow this species, is this true? Another question, can we grow this Gentiana in warm conditions? I find it's blue and green flowers amazing!
"F" for Fritillaria, that's good enough to me ;)
Mike

Portugal, Madeira Island

tonyg

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2007, 11:23:45 PM »
I have flowered this plant ... and cows would be most unsuitable in the garden, although their manure might help.

No, I don't think you need to smash the leaves!  It does have a reputation for not flowering well in lowland gardens however this may not be temperature related.  I have seen it in flower (as G angustifolia - part of the 'Acaulis Group') in the Pyrenees on a very hot, dry slope.  Of course this was a mountain slope at roughly 1800m altitude, very different our gardens.

Try it from seed and you will find out if it can grow for you.

David Shaw

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2007, 09:34:13 AM »
I have seen Gentian acaulis in the wild, in places where there are no cattle; sheep yes but not cows. I have never heard that the leaves need to be crushed so please do not tell the G. acaulis that we grow in our garden! Neither can I see our show show exhibitors explaining to the judges why the specimens on the bench have to be so mangled.
No, I would not recommend crushing the leaves and, as Tony says, there is only one way to find out if it will grow in a warm climate :).
David Shaw, Forres, Moray, Scotland

Olga Bondareva

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2007, 11:32:41 AM »
I have several acaulis-group gentians. I've never gnawed away their leaves.  :) They bloom every year even though summer is hot.


http://photofile.ru/photo/olga_bond/1356770/66799242.jpg


http://photofile.ru/photo/olga_bond/1356770/52987471.jpg
Olga Bondareva, Moscow, Zone 3

illingworth

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2007, 02:44:14 PM »
I had a feeling that I had read somewhere that G. acaulis likes to be firmly planted - not trampled by cows! I just went and had a look in  Geoffrey Charlesworth's book, A Gardener Obsessed, and found this :
"It is understandable why nonflowering is so frustrating. I visited a nursery in Ireland and watched in horror as a large black dog first walked on and then stretched out on a large patch of G. acaulis. The owner was not only undisturbed but walked on the patch herself claiming that the pressure improved flowering."

That being said, we have a good clump that flowers faithfully every year and neither I nor my dog, to my knowledge, has ever walked on it.
According to Roy Elliott we should feel blessed. In his classic book Alpine Gardening, he says that he had "divided it, moved it, stamped on it, manured it, limed it and wholeheartedly cursed it" to no avail. However, one must always try it, as "one of the priceless gems of the mountains may decide to favour you".

Sharon
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Lesley Cox

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #5 on: November 19, 2007, 07:53:25 PM »
It flowers superbly for me at about 300m altitude and has done in every other garden I've had, including at sea level. I don't believe it needs anything special at all, including "firm" planting, more than any plant likes to be securely bedded in. If anything could cause it to fail for you Mike, it could be lack of winter cold, though I don't get all that much of that either. Perhaps there are strains which are free-flowering and others which are not. Being by nature, a sceptic, I tend to think G. acaulis is the subject of many old wives tales which have become "true" through being repeated frequently, but in fact, are utter rubbish

If you'd like to try seed, I can send you some when the new batch is ready (it's in flower now), mid to late summer (here).
« Last Edit: November 19, 2007, 07:55:40 PM by Lesley Cox »
Lesley Cox - near Dunedin, lower east coast, South Island of New Zealand - Zone 9

Susan Band

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2007, 08:48:21 AM »
I think it is one of those plants which flowers for some people and not for others no matter what you do. My aunt and my mum both have the same clone and live 1km apart, my aunt's has 50-100 flowers and mum's has 10 or 12. What does happen with mum's is that a lot of the flowers abort, probabaly during the winter. She gets the flowering stalk but no flowers, frost at the wrong time? :-\
Susan Band, Pitcairn Alpines, ,PERTH. Scotland


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johanneshoeller

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2007, 09:46:34 AM »
I grow some different Gentiana and live in the Alps where you can find them.
In the wild and in the garden there are Gentiana acaulis which will never flower or flower every year. I mean this depends on the clone and the most Gentiana we grow are selected or hybrids which flower easier. I have seen many Gentiana acaulis (clusii, verna,...) on mountain pastures with cows. The cow dung seems to be very useful, but most cows and other wildlife do not eat the leaves, only when they have problems with their digestion they eat roots and leaves (think on Gentiana snaps which we drink when...). It is not recommendable to remove or cut the leaves, the growth would be stunted.
In nature most Gentiana grow ful in sun, but in your gardens the heat should not be to great. In spring they prefer wet conditions, coldness in winter is no problem.

Regards
Hans
Austria
Hans Hoeller passed away, after a long illness, on 5th November 2010. His posts remain as a memory of him.

Matic Sever

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2007, 05:49:35 PM »
I grow Gentiana acaulis in lime-based soil in the same place for 5 years and it flowers like crazy. I also grow it in humus reach, acid soil in full sun and in pots and it's also full of blooms every spring. I realy don't understand why are some people so unsuccesfull in growing these beautyful plants? The most flowering one gets sun only for half a day (planted under high tree).
Matic Sever
Ljubjana-Slovenia, zone 7

johanneshoeller

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2007, 07:02:54 PM »
A great picture! Such a lot of flowers!
I mean it is a Gentiana acaulis hybrid.
So the plants behind my house look very poor, they are older than 10 years and so small, but flower every year.




« Last Edit: November 20, 2007, 07:05:41 PM by johanneshoeller »
Hans Hoeller passed away, after a long illness, on 5th November 2010. His posts remain as a memory of him.

Michael

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2007, 09:55:29 PM »
Thanks for all those kind comments and photos! I am glad that there are many successfull growers of this nice exotic plant. I have been searching additional information about it, and one thing i noticed is that they are evergreen, which is nice! The leaves themselves make a nice groundcover! Thanks for your offer Lesley, please let me know if you have seeds next season. Talking about seeds, how can i contribute to the seedbank? Do they accept tropical plant seeds?

Cheers
Mike
"F" for Fritillaria, that's good enough to me ;)
Mike

Portugal, Madeira Island

Maggi Young

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Re: Gentiana acaulis
« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2007, 11:48:45 AM »
Good of you to think of the Seed Exchange, Mike, but it is too late for this year. I am not sure if there would be  great demand for tropical seed from the membership in general though Forumists here might be very pleased to try anything you may have!
Margaret Young in Aberdeen, North East Scotland Zone 7 -ish!

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