Gen"tian (?), n. [OE. genciane, F. gentiane, L. gentiana, fr. Gentius, an Illyrian king, said to have discovered its properties.] Bot.
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. See Illust. of Capsule.
⇒ 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 pharmacop&oe;ias.
Horse gentian, fever root. -- Yellow gentian Bot., the officinal gentian (Gentiana lutea). See Bitterwort.
© Webster 1913.