Pahalgam Swertia
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Pahalgam Swertia
P Native Photo: Tajamul Islam
Common name: Pahalgam Swertia
Botanical name: Swertia pahalgamensis    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Pahalgam Swertia is a perennial herb, 50-80 cm tall. Flowers are borne in panicle-like cymes, 25.5-27.5 cm long. Flowers are 4-merous, 5-merous or rarely 6-merous, actinomorphic, 20-40 in number, open flower 2.4-2.7 cm across, bracteate, flower-stalks 1.0-3.8 cm long. Petals are yellowish green, ovate, entire, blunt, 4-5 in number, 8.5-10.5 x 5-6 mm; nectar guides with prominent bluish straight lines; pair of nectaries above base of the petal, sub-confluent, sticky, round to cushion-shaped, 1.1-1.2 x 1.1-1.3 mm; fimbriae 5-7 per nectary, sparsely occur all around the margin of nectary, 1-2 mm long. Stamens are 4.0-5.5 mm long. Sepal-cup is persistent, sepals hairless, lanceshaped, 4-5 in number, 8.5-9.5 x 3-4 mm. Stem is erect, simple, hollow, hairless, cylindrical in outline. Basal leaves are 15-25, elliptic-spoon-shaped, stalked, 15.5-17.5 x 3-3.5 cm, margin entire, tips pointed. Stem leaves are 3-6 pairs, opposite, stalkless, free to rarely fused up to 0.6 cm, elliptic to lanceshaped, entire, somewhat pointed, 2-7.5 x 1-2.5 cm, leaf size gradually decreases upwards. Fruit is a capsule with persistent sepal-cup, oblong, 8.5-11.5 x 4.5-5.5 mm. Pahalgam Swertia is currently reported only from Royal Sar area of Overa-Aru Wildlife Sanctuary in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Flowering: August-September.

Identification credit: Anzar Khuroo Photographed in Pahalgam, Kashmir.

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