gentian root -->
gentian
medical dictionary

<botany> 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.

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, Bavarica, and excisa), and the American fringed gentians (G. Crinita and G. Detonsa). Several are used as tonics, especially the bitter roots of Gentiana lutea, the officinal gentian of the pharmacopoeias. Horse gentian, fever root.

<botany> Yellow gentian, the officinal gentian (Gentiana lutea). See Bitterwort.

Origin: OE. Genciane, F. Gentiane, L. Gentiana, fr. Gentius, an Illyrian king, said to have discovered its properties.

(01 Mar 1998)