Botanical Name : Gentianella quinquefolia
Species: G. quinquefolia
Synonyms : Gentiana quinqueflora. L. emend Sm. Gentiana quinquefolia.
Common Names: Agueweed, Ague weed, Five-flowered gentian, Stiff gentian
Habitat :Gentianella quinquefolia is native to Eastern N. America – southern Ontario to Tennessee and Florida. It grows on rich woods and moist fields.
This wildflower is an annual or biennial plant about ½–2′ tall. Small plants are unbranched or sparingly branched, while large plants form frequent lateral stems in the upper leaf axils. The stems are light green to reddish purple, 4-angular, and slightly winged; the central stem is erect, while the lateral stems curve upward. Pairs of opposite leaves occur along each stem, each pair rotating about 90° from the pair of leaves immediately below. The leaves are up to 2½” long and about half as much across, becoming slightly smaller as they ascend the stems. The leaves are ovate-cordate to ovate, sessile or slightly clasping at their bases, and smooth along their margins. Their upper surfaces are yellowish green, green, or tinted slightly purple; each leaf has 3-5 parallel veins. Both the stems and leaves are hairless.
The central stem and upper lateral stems (if present) terminate in clusters of 3-7 flowers on short pedicels. Frequently, there are additional clusters of 1-5 flowers from the axils of the upper leaves. All of these flowers are held stiffly erect. Each flower is about ¾” long and ¼” across; it has a long tubular corolla and a short green calyx with 5 slender teeth. The apex of each corolla has 5 triangular lobes that fold together to form a point; the corolla is closed or nearly so. There are no interconnecting fringes to join these lobes. The corollas are blue-violet, purple, or nearly white; they have fine purple veins along their sides. Inside each corolla, there are five stamens and a pistil. The erect lobes of the calyx are narrowly oblong-lanceolate in shape. Underneath the clustered flowers, the leaves are reduced to leafy bracts. The blooming period occur from late summer to mid-fall and lasts about 1-2 months. There is no noticeable floral scent. Each flower is replaced by a seed capsule that divides into 2 parts to release the numerous tiny seeds. These seeds are distributed by wind and water. The root system consists of a taproot. This wildflower reproduces by reseeding itself; it does not spread vegetatively.
The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects
Cultivation: Requires a damp humus-rich soil and should be planted in a situation approaching its native habitat..
Propagation : Seed – must be sown in situ as soon as it is ripe in the autumn.
The root is cathartic, febrifuge, haemostatic, stimulant and stomachic. A tea or tincture of the root is a bitter tonic, used to stimulate the digestion and a poor appetite. An infusion has also been used to treat diarrhoea, sore chest, worms and haemorrhages. A homeopathic remedy is made from the root. It is used in the treatment of intermittent fevers and as a stomachic and tonic.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.