Common in the Alps, but very rare in gardens, is this lovely, very long-lived relative of Gentiana lutea. Clusters of reddish-purple tubular flowers are held on strong stems which arise from great tufts of thick, aspidistra-like leaves.
Seeds can be sown at any time but are best sown in winter or early spring to benefit from a cold spell in the wet compost to break their dormancy. We advise covering seeds very thinly with sand or fine grit to about the depth of the seed size. If the seeds do not come up within 6 to 12 weeks the damp seed tray can be given cold treatment in a fridge for about four weeks. They may still take very many months to appear, so please never discard the pot or tray.