Stalked Gentian
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Stalked Gentian
ative Photo: Saroj Kasaju
Common name: Stalked Gentian
Botanical name: Comastoma pedunculatum    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Gentiana pedunculata, Gentianella pedunculata

Stalked Gentian is an annual herb 15-35 cm tall, hairless. Stem is branched from middle or above, canalled, not much crowded by leaves. Stem leaves are 0.8-2.0 x 0.5-1.0 cm, lanceshaped, inverted-lanceshaped or elliptic or obovate, margin hyaline, toothed, slightly curled, pointed, stalkless, dorsal surface wrinkled, 3-or more veined. A branch arises from axil of each pair of leaves. Inflorescence solitary, terminal. Flowers are borne on long stalks which are up to 10 cm long. Flowers are bell-shaped, medium sized, 0.7-1.5 cm long. Calyx is split to base, tube almost absent or very small, sepals unequal, 5-lobed, one pair smallest, 0.3-0.7 x 0.1-0.2 cm, lanceshaped, margin cartilaginous, toothed, pointed, second pair bigger, 0.4-0.8 x 0.2-0.3 cm, fifth biggest, 0.6-0.8 x 0.3-0.5 cm, ovate. Dorsal surface of all sepals is wrinkled, ventral surface with veins reticulately arranged. Flowers are blue, with 5 petals. Flower-tube is 0.6-1.0 cm long, petals 0.1-0.25 x 0.1-0.2 cm, ovate-broadly ovate, entire, obtuse, net-veined, provided at base with crown of profuse fimbriae, fimbriae linear, acute, unequal in length. Stamens are 5, filament adnate, Stalked Gentian is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Bhutan, S.E. Tibet, at altitudes of 3000-5000 m. Flowering: July-October.

Identification credit: Saroj Kasaju, Krishan Lal Photographed in Khardung village, Ladakh.

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