WILLOW GENTIAN Asclepiadea gentiana
One of the larger species within the genus, it produces pairs of leaves, sometimes whorled in threes or fours around particularly vigorous shoots on stems that generally arch elegantly outward from the base of the plant between 60–90 cm (2.0–3.0 ft) in length. Trumpet-shaped, deep blue flowers occur in late summer into autumn.
This particular species is relatively easy to grow in most garden situations as long as it has plenty of organic material added to the soil.
Gentiana asclepiadea likes moist, rich, well-drained soil in full sun or partial . The plant can be divided after flowering, however it seldom needs this. If sowing the seed indoors then cold treatment is needed (see germination information below).
Gentiana asclepiadea has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.
Type: Hardy perennial
Hardiness zones: 5-9
Height: 60-90cm, 2-3 feet
Location: Sun or part
Seeds per pack: 20
Germination: As with many perennial seeds, these seeds can benefit from a period of moist cold to help them grow. This is done by giving them a cold 'winter' period (artificial or natural), and then a warming to simulate 'spring', and time to grow! Here's how this can be done:
Obtain a planting container that has holes in the bottom for excess water to drain. Place the seeds just under the surface of your growing medium, and water. Place your container in a cold area (but not freezing, perhaps a refrigerator) for 4-6 weeks. Once the cold period is completed, place the container at room temperature for them to germinate. Be sure to keep the soil moist during this entire germination period. Seedlings will sprout a few weeks, or occasionally several months, after the warming period.