Silvery Gentian
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Silvery Gentian
ative Photo: Thingnam Girija
Common name: Silvery Gentian
Botanical name: Gentiana argentea    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Gentianodes argentea, Ericala argentea

Silvery Gentian is an annual herb, 2-10 cm long, unbranched or branched. Stem are shiny, hairless to velvet-hairy, simple, branched from base, middle or above or from all around. Leaves are at the base as well as on the stem. Basal leaves are in a rosette, 0.4-1.5 x 0.4-1.2 cm, ovate-broadly ovate, margin cartilaginous, entire, long-pointed, silvery, fused at base, sometimes curved back. Stem leaves are 3-8 mm long, 1.5-4 mm wide, lanceshaped-ovate, margin cartilaginous, stiff, entire, long-pointed, bristle like at the tip, carinate at base, 3- to many-veined. Flowers are borne at branch ends, many together in fascicles, 0.8-1.5 cm long, stalkless to short-stalked. Sepal is 5-lobed, 0.5-0.8 cm long, tube 0.3-0.6 cm long, sepals 1-3 x 0.5-1 mm, lanceshaped, entire, pointed. Flowers are 0.7-1.25 cm long, bell-shaped, tube 0.4-1.0 cm long, petals 1-3 x 1-2 mm, ovate, entire, long-pointed, false petals 0.5-1.5 x 0.5-1.5 mm, toothed long-pointed. Stamens are 5, threadlike, adnate below the middle of corolla. Capsule is 2-3 x 1.5-2 mm, lanceshaped to invrted-lanceshaped, shortly stalked, seeds numerous, minute. Silvery Gentian is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 1600-4400 m. Flowering: April-June.

Identification credit: Tabish Photographed in Dhanaulti, Uttarakhand.
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