bottle gentian

(Gentiana andrewsii)

bottle gentian
Photo by Bill Reynolds

Gentiana andrewsii, commonly known as the closed bottle gentian, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to North America. The flowers are a striking blue-purple color and are shaped like small bottles with closed mouths, hence the common name "closed bottle gentian".

Gentiana andrewsii is found in moist, shady habitats such as meadows, swamps, and along streambanks. It is a popular plant in ornamental gardens due to its striking appearance, but it is also an important plant for wildlife as it provides nectar for bees and butterflies. Additionally, the plant has a history of use in traditional medicine for various ailments, including digestive problems and fever.


Gentiana andrewsii typically grows to a height of 1 to 2 feet and has a cluster of unbranched stems that emerge from a basal rosette.

The leaves lance-shaped and arranged in opposite pairs along the stem. They are dark green in color and have a smooth texture. The leaves can grow up to 4 inches in length and 1 inch in width.

The flowers are a striking blue-purple color and are shaped like small bottles with closed mouths. They grow in clusters at the top of the stem and bloom from August to October. The petals of the flower are fused at the base to form a tube that is about 1 inch in length. The flower tube then opens up into five pointed lobes, revealing the stamens and style inside. The flowers are pollinated by bees that are strong enough to push their way into the closed flower to reach the nectar at the base.

After the flowers have been pollinated, they develop into small, rounded capsules that contain numerous tiny seeds. The capsules split open when mature, releasing the seeds.

Gentiana andrewsii has a fibrous root system that spreads out horizontally just beneath the surface of the soil. The roots are important for absorbing water and nutrients from the soil.


Distribution Map



2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 24, 28, 29, 30.

  Kingdom Plantae (green algae and land plants)  
  Subkingdom Viridiplantae (green plants)  
  Infrakingdom Streptophyta (land plants and green algae)  
  Superdivision Embryophyta (land plants)  
  Division Tracheophyta (vascular plants)  
  Subdivision Spermatophytina (seed plants)  
  Class Magnoliopsida (flowering plants)  
  Superorder Asteranae  


Gentianales (gentians, dogbanes, madders, and allies)  


Gentianaceae (gentian)  
  Tribe Gentianeae (gentian)  
  Subtribe Gentianinae (gentian)  


Gentiana (gentians)  
  Section Pneumonanthe  

Subordinate Taxa


bottle gentian (Gentiana andrewsii var. andrewsii)

Dakota gentian (Gentiana andrewsii var. dakotica)






Common Names


Andrew’s gentian

bottle gentian

closed bottle gentian

closed gentian

fringe-top bottle gentian

prairie gentian

prairie closed gentian









Visitor Photos

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Robert Briggs

    bottle gentian      

Bill Reynolds


I was a minute late with the camera, as a Bumble Bees was backing out of the bottle.

    bottle gentian   bottle gentian  


    bottle gentian   bottle gentian  


    bottle gentian   bottle gentian  
    bottle gentian   bottle gentian  



  Gentiana andrewsii BOTTLE GENTIAN
Frank Mayfield
  Gentiana andrewsii BOTTLE GENTIAN  
  Gentiana andrewsii
Joshua Mayer
  Gentiana andrewsii  

Bottle or Andrews' Gentian




Visitor Videos

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Other Videos
  Bee and Bottle Gentian in North Dakota
Dusty VanThuyne

Published on Apr 17, 2012

No description available.

  Bumble Bee Pollinating Bottle Gentian
Samantha Vo

Published on Feb 19, 2015

  Buzzz Pollination in Action

Uploaded on Nov 28, 2011

Bumblebee gathering nectar from a beautiful but strange bottle gentian flower in the Lurie Garden, Millennium Park in Chicago

  IMG 1080
Anne Moretti

Published on Jan 12, 2015

A bumblebee enters a bottle gentian flower at Ottawa Lake in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Southern Unit in Eagle, WI




Created 8/29/2004

Last Updated:

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