Autumn gentian has various names, each emphasizing a specific feature. It blossoms relatively late in the season, it is a short plant (dwarf), it contains bitter substances and it used to be used for curing inflammations or 'felons' (felwort). Autumn gentian is a very rare plant and legally protected. In the Netherlands, it is limited to the dunes. It favors calcium-rich, dampish soil, such as dune slacks and grassy areas. It doesn't necessarily grow in the slack but along the edge. It needs a layer of humus in order to grow, which is often found in transition zones. So you can also find this plant on the edge of beach plains which are practically surrounded by dunes and rarely flooded with seawater. In 2011, after years of decline, thousands of autumn gentians blossomed in the 'Vuurtoren' valley on Schiermonnikoog.