Garden Closed

Due to the closure of the U.S. Capitol Campus to the public, the U.S. Botanic Garden continues to have altered operations.  Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens and the Terrace Gardens are open while the Conservatory and gated outdoor gardens are temporarily closed. Please monitor for updates on operating status. Many resources can be accessed online, including educational materials, virtual tours, and online programs. Connect with resources from home at

Soapwort gentian or harvest bells

Plant Botanical Name: 
Gentiana saponaria
Plant Threat Level: 

Soapwort gentians are native along the east coast from Florida to Massachusetts, west to the Great Lakes and south to Texas. Although widely dispersed, they are now extinct in Michigan and endangered in Ohio, New York and Pennsylvania. Development, fire suppression and use of herbicides continue to endanger gentians. Gentiana saponaria are most often found in moist acidic woodland slopes, roadside ditches and moist meadows. The beautiful blue flower heralds the end of the flowering season (and harvest season), just before its leaves turn red and gold.