FoI
Panicled Swertia   
Foto info
Panicled Swertia
A Native Herb
Photo: Tabish
Common name: Panicled Swertia • Hindi: चिराईता Charaita • Sanskrit: Kiratatikta • Nepali: चिराईतो Chiraito
Botanical name: Swertia paniculata    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Ophelia paniculata, Ophelia wallichii, Swertia gracilescens

Panicled Swertia is an annual herb, growing up to 80-120 cm tall. Roots are yellow and fibrous. Branched stems are slender, erect, 1.5-4 mm in diameter. Basal leaves wither away at maturity. Stem leaves are nearly stalkless, narrow lance-shaped, 2-5.5 cm long, 4-14 mm wide, margin fringed with hairs. Inflorescences are panicles of cymes, many flowered, spreading, to 70 cm. Flower stalks are erect, 0.6-1.5 cm long. Flowers are 5 parted, meaning with most parts occuring in fives. Sepal tube is 1-1.5 mm, with ovate-lance-shaped sepals, 6-10 × 2-5 mm. Flowers are pale yellow- green, with 2 blackish purple spots above each nectary. Flower tube is 1-1.5 mm, with ovate petals, 6-8 mm long, with narrow tips. Nectaries are 1 per petal, horseshoe-shaped, naked. Stamens are 4-5 mm long, with purple anthers. Capsules are ovoid, 8-10 mm. Flowering: August-October.
Medicinal uses: Decoction of the plant is used as tonic. Plant is also used as substitute for Chirayita in the treatment of malaria and other fever.
Identification credit: Navendu Pāgé
Photographed in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand.