FoI
Law's Swertia
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Law's Swertia
ative Photo: Shahina Shanavas
Common name: Law's Swertia • Sanskrit: Kiratatikta
Botanical name: Swertia lawii    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Ophelia lawii, Swertia pauciflora, Ophelia pauciflora

Law's Swertia is an annual, hairless herb, 1-3 ft tall. Stems are branched, 4-angular, winged. Stalkless leaves are ovate-lanceshaped or triangular, 1.3-3.5 x 0.5-1.8 cm, with 3-5 secondary veins each side; tip pointed; base wedge-shaped. Flowers are borne in lax cymes in leaf-axils or at branch-ends corymbs; bracts linear-lanceshaped, 2.5-4 x 0.8-1.5 cm; flower-stalks 1-3 cm long. Sepals are 4, linear-lanceshaped, 4-12 x 1.5-2.5 mm, divided almost to the base, 3-veined; tip tapering. Flowers are often white with dark blue veins; tube 0.5-1.5 mm long; petals 4, ovate, 8-12 x 2.5-5 mm; tip tapering or with a short sharp point; glands 1 at the base of each, ovate, watch pocket-shaped; fimbriae 0.8-1.3 mm long, appearing as two compound flaps, white or purple arising from the green scaly base. Stamens are 4; filaments 2-5 mm long, white; anthers yellow. Capsules are oblong, 5-10 x 1-2.5 mm. Law's Swertia is endemic to Peninsular India. Flowering: November-January.
Medicinal uses: Used as a substitute for Swertia chirayita.

Identification credit: Shahina Shanavas Photographed in Kollur district, Karnataka.

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