Gentian is the common name for the genus Gentiana. Gentians are grown for their attractive, trumpet-shaped flowers which are usually blue. Gentians are fully hardy and like full sun or partial shade, and neutral to acid soil that is rich in humus and well drained.
Gentian is used as a flavouring, for example in bitters, and the soft drink "Moxie" which contains "Gentian Root Extractives".
Some varieties are of medicinal use and their roots were harvested for the manufacture of tonic liquor.
According to Pliny Gentian is name after Gentius; the King of Illyria, said to have discovered its healing properties.