• WordNet 3.6
    • n gentian any of various plants of the family Gentianaceae especially the genera Gentiana and Gentianella and Gentianopsis
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Gentian (Bot) Any one of a genus (Gentiana) of herbaceous plants with opposite leaves and a tubular four- or five-lobed corolla, usually blue, but sometimes white, yellow, or red. See Illust. of Capsule.☞ Many species are found on the highest mountains of Europe, Asia, and America, and some are prized for their beauty, as the Alpine (Gentiana verna Gentiana Bavarica, and Gentiana excisa), and the American fringed gentians (Gentiana crinita and Gentiana detonsa). Several are used as tonics, especially the bitter roots of Gentiana lutea, the officinal gentian of the pharmacopoeias.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n gentian The common name for species of the genus Gentiana. The officinal gentian, affording the gentian-root of pharmacists, is the G. lutea, a tall handsome species of southern and central Europe, though the roots of other species, as of G. purpurea and G. Pannonica, are frequently substituted for it. The more common American gentians are the fringed gentian (G. crinata), with showy sky-blue, delicately fringed corollas, and the closed gentian (G. Andrewsii) and soapwort-gentian (G. Saponaria), both with nearly closed corollas.
    • n gentian The pineweed or orange-grass, Sarothra gentianoides.
    • n gentian The soapwort-gentian.
    • n gentian Same as. striped gentian.
    • n gentian The American columbo, Frasera Carolinensis.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Gentian jen′shan a plant the root of which is used in medicine, said by Pliny to have been brought into use by Gentius, king of Illyria, conquered by the Romans in 167 B.C
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. genciane, F. gentiane, L. gentiana, fr. Gentius, an Illyrian king, said to have discovered its properties


In literature:

He would chew camomile, gentian, tooth-picks, but it was of no use.
"How to Succeed" by Orison Swett Marden
To their great relief the fever abated before morning, and by persistently taking the gentian tonic Harry was soon well again.
"The Wonder Island Boys: Exploring the Island" by Roger Thompson Finlay
The grandfather also returned from a walk, on which he had gathered a glorious bunch of deep-blue gentians.
"Heidi" by Johanna Spyri
Let the light which puts gold on the gentian and spots the pansy pour into your dwellings.
"The Wedding Ring" by T. De Witt Talmage
During recovery a course of bitter tonics (nux vomica 1 scruple, ground gentian root 4 drams) should be given.
"Special Report on Diseases of the Horse" by United States Department of Agriculture
Tincture of gentian, 1 ounce.
"Searchlights on Health: Light on Dark Corners" by B.G. Jefferis
Allee and me were picking gentians when we saw it.
"At the Little Brown House" by Ruth Alberta Brown
I'd give her some gentian, mother, or anything that would start her up a little.
"A Little Girl in Old Boston" by Amanda Millie Douglas
And the lagoon about, a purple glow, A garden thickly planted with blue gentians.
"Life Immovable" by Kostes Palamas
This is to be followed by sulphate of iron, five grains; extract of gentian, ten grains.
"The Ladies Book of Useful Information" by Anonymous
Everywhere was a profusion of gentians, the larger and darker, as well as the smaller, bluest of all blue flowers.
"More Science From an Easy Chair" by Sir E. Ray (Edwin Ray) Lankester
Discard the golden-rod for the gentian, and in turn forsake the gentian for the twin-flower?
"The Foot-path Way" by Bradford Torrey
Her dark soft hair was gathered simply; a bunch of blue gentian glimmered at her belt.
"A Young Man in a Hurry" by Robert W. Chambers
Blue gentians for Miss Wallace, which had been their errand, were quite forgotten.
"Virginia of Elk Creek Valley" by Mary Ellen Chase
Saturated alcoholic solution of gentian violet 1 c.c.
"The Elements of Bacteriological Technique" by John William Henry Eyre
While she gazed in at the window, who should come up to this boy but her own sister Gentian!
"Hollyhock" by L. T. Meade
To make the bitter tincture of rhubarb, add an ounce of gentian root, and a dram of snake root.
"The Cook and Housekeeper's Complete and Universal Dictionary; Including a System of Modern Cookery, in all Its Various Branches," by Mary Eaton
Gentian-blue is a useful word, bringing to mind the piercingly powerful hue of the Gentianella.
"Wood and Garden" by Gertrude Jekyll
Powdered gentian 1 ounce.
"On the cattle plague: or, Contagious typhus in horned cattle. Its history, origin, description, and treatment" by Honoré Bourguignon
Tincture of gentian, 1 ounce.
"The American Reformed Cattle Doctor" by George Dadd

In poetry:

Tang of fruitage in the air;
Red boughs bursting everywhere;
Shimmering of seeded grass;
Hooded gentians all a'mass.
"Late September" by Amy Lowell
"Thou shalt command us all,
April's cowslip, summer's clover
To the gentian in the fall,
Blue-eyed pet of blue-eyed lover.
"To Ellen, At The South" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
Yet shall the blue-eyed gentian look
Through fringed lids to heaven,
And the pale aster in the brook
Shall see its image given;--
"My Psalm" by John Greenleaf Whittier
For Willie dwells where gentian flowers
Make mimic sky in mountain bowers;
And vineyards steeped in ardent hours
Slope to the wave
Where storied Chillon's tragic towers
Their bases lave;
"A Child's Hair" by William Watson
'No lilies can I offer you,
'Nor gentian, nor violets blue:
'The only flower that I own
'Is, was and shall be, yours alone,—
'A flower of such a glowing red
'It seems as if each leaf had bled.'
"On River Banks My Love Was Born" by Digby Mackworth Dolben
What eyes she had, the little Bo-Peep!
They had tears to laugh with, and tears to weep.
So fringy, and shy, and blue, and sweet,
That even the summer skies in color,
Or the autumn gentians under her feet,
Less tender were and duller.
"Little Bo-Beep" by Clara Doty Bates

In news:

Is it worth the search for gentian root.
Fringed gentian a late bloomer , but worth the wait.
The Hope Library invites children in grades K-5 to join Gentian Garden Club members to make a Halloween flower arrangement on Thursday, Oct 25, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Parents are welcome.
Fringed gentian a late bloomer, but worth the wait.
Fringed gentian a late bloomer, but worth the wait.
Evidence Shows Multimillionaire Anne Bass And Her Companion Were Injected With Gentian Violet During Home Invasion In South Kent.
Its gentian-blue late-season flowers often continue to bloom even as the foliage turns brilliant red-orange in fall, making an outstanding autumn display.
Prairie gentian blooms last week in a remnant prairie west of Sheffield in Bureau County.