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Gentian Research Network

and Rutgers University:

Classification (newest)
List of genera
List by tribe

Gentian characteristics

What are gentians?

Photo gallery

Research projects

People, addresses
Literature, publications 
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Common names
Ecology - Natural history

Endangered species

Ethnobotany - Uses

Gentian violet


Who eats gentians?




for kids!

Latin America
North America








Information in other languages:



This page is maintained 
by Dr. Lena Struwe 
(e-mail), and hosted by
Rutgers University


updated: 01/19/11 

Popular literature and novels that include gentians in one way or another
Back to ethnobotany overview


Gentians have figured in both prose and poetry worldwide since 1000 AD, and some of these texts have become quite popular and well-known. The gentians beauty, color, and fragility has inspired many novelists and writers, especially in the 19th and 20th century.  For some unknown reason, the first name Gentian has also been given to heroes, pirates, heiresses, poor but beautiful girls, etc. in various romance novels.

See also the poetry web page.



Lauren Willig: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

A novel about two spies in Napoleon's time, called the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian.



Evelyn Stewart Armstrong: Warlock's Wench

A romance novel about Gentian Summerlee, accused of witch craft.



J. William Chambers: A Taste of Wine and Gentian: Poems 

A collection of poetry



Elizabeth Goudge: Gentian Hill

Romance novel about an old legend of St. Michael's Chapel at Torquay, U.K. (1949)



Jean Innes: Beloved

Romance novel about a girl named Gentian, captured by pirates. "Now, on a perilous voyage to Cyprus, the secrets of Gentian's life begin to unfold like a late-blooming flower, revealing a ruthless plot to seize her fortune" (1997)



Margaret Rome: Valley of Gentians

Romance novel



May Riley Smith: A gift of gentians and other verses



Ethel Cook Eliot: The Wind Boy

Novel about two refugee children, Gentian and Kay who befriends the Wind Boy (1923, revised 1945)



Albert Enzian

German Comic



Edward Hyams: Gentian Violet

Novel about the girl Gentian Violet, adopted heiress of an immensely rich best-selling author and two Military Police in U.K.. "A Romance about Political life"  (1953)



Pamela Dean: Juniper, Gentian, and Rosemary

Futuristic novel about three girls growing up next to a strange family, building a time machine, Shakespeare plays, and astronomy. Gentian, Juniper, and Rosemary are the names of the daughters.



Randolph: Gentianella

A novel (1890's)



Julia Watson: A Mistress for the Valois

Romance novel.

"Fourteen year old Gentian is bought from her scheming grandmother by Peron L'Mazalan, the Italian aide of the Duke du Veaux. Unable to prevent himself, Peron falls in love with her; and, when poison meant for her is drunk by the Duke, has to watch her marry the dying Giraud du Veaux, by whom she is expecting a child. But it is with Francis, the young and ardent sovereign, a visitor to the Chateau, that Gentian becomes involved. "


Julia Watson: The Wolf and the Unicorn
(continuation of the story above)


Gentian Research Network, 2002-2011.
For corrections and additions, contact Lena Struwe at