Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian Prairie Gentian Wildflower Plants and Seeds
(jen-shee-AN-uh   pub-ER-uh-len-ta)   

Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers Native Perennial Wild Flower plants and Seed
for Home Landscaping and Prairie Restoration

Downy Gentian, Prairie Gentian, Gentiana puberulenta picture Photo by cj Habitat Bloom Period Color Height Inches Moisture Plant Spacing Lifespan
Downy Gentian, Prairie Gentian, Gentiana puberulenta picture Downy Gentian, Prairie Gentian, Gentiana puberulenta picture Sun  September
8 to 20 Inches Average to dry  8 to 12 Inches Perennial

   Click on a photo for larger image 


 Gentiana puberulenta 
Downy Gentian

number of seeds

approximate coverage
in square feet

1 packet -  $out of seed

 sq ft

1 ounce ------out

 sq ft

1 pound ------out

 sq ft

Gentiana puberulenta, Downy Gentian, Prairie Gentian,        SOLD OUT

We are out of Gentiana at this time.  For other flowers visit the Wildflower Seed/Plant List 
 to order copy and mail the
order form
email questions, comments, and orders to
We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

   Gentiana puberulenta, Downy Gentian or Prairie Gentian, with it's exceptionally vivid blue-violet flowers is one of the most beautiful native wildflowers on the prairie during the fall, .

puberula = with tiny hairs  

Native Wild Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian Prairie Gentian is a sun loving plant occurring in dry upland prairies and woods, and on rocky open slopes.

The map below shows areas where native Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian plants grow wild but it can be planted and will grow over a much wider area than shown.  USDA plant hardiness zones 2 to 9.

Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian
Prairie gentian


New York
North Dakota

South Dakota
West Virginia

Use the chart below for shipping charges on Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian seed and other native wildflower seeds
 to order copy and mail the order form
 email questions, comments and orders to

We accept payment by check, money order, and through Paypal

The minimum seed order amount is $10, this can be a combination of different seeds.

subtotal for flower seeds 

shipping charge for seeds

seed orders up to  $20.00    =  

 $4.00 shipping

$20.01 - $50.00    =  

 $6.00 shipping

$50.01-$100.00    =  

 $7.50 shipping

over $100.00    =    7.5 % of subtotal


  Flower Pictures   Wildflower Seed and Potted Plant Price list   Order Form    

Easyliving Wildflowers
PO Box  522
Willow Springs,  MO.  65793
Phone 417-469-2611 

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

e-mail questions, comments, and orders to

We accept payment by check or money order and through PayPal

Gentiana puberulenta, Downy Gentian or Prairie Gentian plant distribution map complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
  ( National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.













    Downy Gentian flowers open 1or 2 at a time during the daylight hours and will sometimes remain closed during heavily overcast weather. The flowers can withstand early autumn frosts and are often some of the last wildflowers observed on the prairie.  Downy gentian is a perennial, usually single-stemmed plant up to 20 inches tall. Stems are minutely hairy, like the skin of a peach. The 2-inch long leaves are narrow and stiff; about a dozen pairs are usually present. Up to 10 bell-shaped flowers form a terminal cluster and also sometimes arise from the bases of the upper leaves. Flowers are one-to-two inches long and bluish-purple to rose-violet. As in all the gentians, the fruit is a many-seeded capsule. Prairie Gentian can be distinguished from other gentians that occur within the state by its more open corolla and the small, reflexed lobes. Prairie or Downy gentian has fine white hairs on the stems and at the base of the leaves, but they are often hard to see. Another scientific name for this plant is Gentiana puberula.  

    The Gentian Family, Gentianaceae, was named for Gentius, 6th century king of Illyria, who found the roots of the yellow gentian to have a healing effect on his malaria-stricken troops. Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian plants grow 8 to 20 inches tall and can be found growing wild on sandy soils or in prairies from Minnesota and North Dakota in the west to western New York in the east, southward to Tennessee and Louisiana. Gentian flowers bloom September to October, they are blue-violet to purple, with 5 petals fused into a long corolla and the free portions of the petals flared and pointed at their apex. Flowers generally without flower stalks and grouped in tight, apical clusters. Stem lightly hairy. Leaves elongate, with smooth outer margins.  The petals of Downy Gentian flare at the top.   Other gentian species have clusters of flowers that remain closed.

    Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian, seeds are best sown as soon as it is ripe in a light position in a cold frame. It can also be sown in late winter or early spring but the seed germinates best if given a period of cold stratification and quickly loses viability when stored, with older seed germinating slowly and erratically. It is advantageous to keep the seed at about 10c for a few days after sowing, to enable the seed to imbibe moisture. Following this with a period of at least 5 - 6 weeks with temperatures falling to between 0 and -5c will usually produce reasonable germination. It is best to use clay pots, since plastic ones do not drain so freely and the moister conditions encourage the growth of moss, which will prevent germination of the seed. The seed should be surface-sown, or only covered with a very light dressing of compost. The seed requires dark for germination, so the pots should be covered with something like newspaper or be kept in the dark. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow on in light shade in the greenhouse for at least their first winter. The seedlings grow on very slowly, taking 2 - 7 years to reach flowering size. When the plants are of sufficient size, place them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.

   Gentiana puberulenta Downy Gentian, a native perennial plant is unbranched and about 10 to 18 inches tall. The central stem is slightly reddish and has lines of minute white hairs that are difficult to see. The leaves are up to 3" long and 1" across. They are oppositely arranged along the central stem, except at the apex of the plant, where they occur in a whorl of 3-7 smaller leaves. They are lanceolate, sessile, and have smooth margins. On each leaf, there is a minute pubescence along the central vein at the base, otherwise the texture tends to be shiny. Two smaller side veins run parallel to the central vein. One or more clusters of 1-8 flowers occur at or near the apex of the plant. The inflorescence is sessile at the topmost whorl of leaves, otherwise the flowers occur on short stalks from the axils of the upper opposite leaves. The violet-blue flowers are about 2" long and 1" across when fully open. The corolla is tubular and vase-shaped, but divides into 5 small triangular lobes that reflex outward. Within the corolla, there is a prominent stigma with a divided white tip, which is surrounded by 5 stamens with white anthers. The outer sides of the corolla contain some patches of greenish violet, while it becomes whitish green near the base on the inside. The blooming period occurs during the fall, and lasts about a month. There is no noticeable floral fragrance. The seed capsules split into 2 sections, releasing numerous small seeds that can be dispersed by wind or water. The root system consists of a long stout taproot with a few lateral roots.

    Gentiana puberulenta, Downy Gentian or Prairie Gentian, prefers sandy, light soils in dry native prairie. Because of the relative scarcity of downy gentian, its response to livestock grazing is little known, but the species probably does best under light or moderate grazing like others in the genus. The roots of nearly all gentians contain a bitter principle long used in home remedies as a tonic. Downy gentian is difficult to propagate from seed. Though a single plant may produce thousands of seeds, many are infertile.

    Gentiana puberulenta, Downy Gentian or Prairie Gentian,  prefers full sun and average to dry soil. The soil texture can consist of rich loam, clay-loam, or contain some gravel. Prairie Gentian is often difficult to start from seed, but fairly easy to establish from transplants. Foliar disease rarely bothers the leaves. This plant is quite drought resistant.

   Prairie Gentian is an indicator plant of original prairie and other high quality habitats. Such habitats include mesic to dry black soil prairies, gravelly hill prairies, barrens with stunted trees or shrubs, limestone glades, and prairie remnants along railroads. Occasionally, Prairie Gentian forms small loose colonies. It adapts well to a regimen of occasional spring wildfires, as this removes some of the grassy debris that can smother this plant.