Gentiana scabra

Gentiana scabra (or Japanese gentian) is an Autumn flowering species, a little taller than many other species. It will reach around 20cm and with attractive green foliage the blue flowers appear atop the stems late in the season. Not a lot of information around about this species however we believe that the species may be white flowering and that Gentiana scabra var. buergeri is the blue flowering variety.

Plants will take a few years to form a good clump so be a little patient, in autumn you will notice the foliage turning from green to a red this is common as the colder weather sets in. Although sold as an evergreen it does lose some foliage over winter.


Now to be honest we are trying to grow this for the first time, so our notes here are a little lacking and reflect on what will try to do. It does require a moist position however with a reasonable amount of sun.

We are trying it in a terra cotta container with good drainage. We intend to water with a liquid seaweed fertiliser every 2 - 3 weeks during summer.

We have learnt that sun is essential for this plant, the large flower buds form nicely, however they will not open up if they do not get enough sun. Gentiana scabra will also put on some flowers in late spring if it is grown in the right position.

If the roots are allowed to settle into a niche in a rock wall and the plant gets enough sun it will thrive.

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