A robust and handsome plant, native of Germany, and kept with us in gardens. It grows two feet and a half high. The leaves that rise from the root, are oblong, broad, of a yellowish green colour, and pointed at the ends. The stalk is thick, firm, upright, and brownish or yellowish. At every joint there stand two leaves like the others, only smaller; and towards the tops at every joint, also, there stand a number of flowers: these are small, yellow, with a great lump in the middle, which is the rudiment of the seed-vessel, and a great quantity of yellow threads about it. The root is large, long, and often divided. It is of a brownish colour on the outside, and yellow within, and is of a very bitter taste.
The root is used; our druggists keep it dry: it is the great bitter and stomachic of the modern practice. Gentian root, and the peel of Seville oranges, make the common bitter tinctures and infusions: beside strengthening the stomach, and creating an appetite, these open obstructions, and are good in most chronic disorders. The powder of gentian will cure ague.