This section is from the book "The Botanical Magazine; Or, Flower-Garden Displayed", by William Curtis. Also available from Amazon: The Botanical Magazine; or, Flower-Garden Displayed, Volume I.
Gentiana Acaulis. Large-Flowered Gentian, or Gentianella.
Corolla monopetala. Capsula bivalvis, 1-locularis. Receptaculis 2-longitudinalibus.
GENTIANA acaulis corolla quinquefida campanulata caulem excedente. Linn. Syst. Vegetab. p. 267.
GENTIANA alpina latifolia magno flore. Bauh. Pin. 187.
Small Gentian of the Spring. Park. Par. p. 352. t. 351. f. 3.
Plants growing in mountainous situations, where they are constantly exposed to strong-blowing winds, are always dwarfish; in such situations, the present plant has no stalk, whence its name acaulis, but cultivated in gardens it acquires one.
Most of the plants of this family are beautiful, and, cultivated in gardens, in brilliancy of colour none exceed the present species.
As most Alpine plants do, this loves a pure air, an elevated situation, and a loamy soil, moderately moist; it is however somewhat capricious, thriving without the least care in some gardens, and not succeeding in others; at any rate it will not prosper very near London.
It flowers usually in May, and sometimes in the autumn.
Is propagated by parting its roots at the close of summer; but Miller says, the strongest and best plants are produced from seed.