Gentiana is a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Gentian family (Gentianaceae), tribe Gentianeae and monophyletic subtribe Gentianinae. With about 400 species, it is considered a large genus. This is a cosmopolitan genus, occurring in alpine habitats of temperate regions of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Some species also occur in northwest Africa, eastern Australia and New Zealand. They consist of annual, biennial and perennial plants. Some are evergreen, others are not. Many gentians are difficult to grow outside their wild habitat, but several species are available in cultivation. Gentians are fully hardy and like full sun or partial shade, and neutral to acid soil that is rich in humus and well drained. They are popular in rock gardens. The name is a tribute to an Gentius, an Illyrian king who was thought to have found out that the herbs had tonic properties. Gentian root is used in the production of Gentian, a distilled beverage produced in the Alps.
Contributions by JoJan, Wsiegmund, and Cuaxdon.