Garden Closed

The United States Botanic Garden (USBG) is temporarily closed to the public to reduce the risk of transmitting COVID-19 coronavirus.

Whenever possible, the USBG will reschedule public programs and events originally scheduled during the closure period. Please monitor the USBG website for updates to operating status. Many resources can still be accessed online, including educational worksheets and manuals, fact sheets and more, and some of our programs will also be made available online. Find online resources 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.