Winged-Stem Swertia
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Winged-Stem Swertia
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Winged-Stem Swertia
Botanical name: Swertia alata    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)
Synonyms: Ophelia alata

Winged-Stem Swertia is an annual herb, 15-20 cm tall, with sometimes branched stem which is quadrangular and winged. Leaves are 2-5 x 1.5-2 cm, ovate-heartshaped, 3-7-nerved. Flowers are borne in panicles. Flowers are 4-merous. But for its 4-petalled flowers, it looks quite similar to Heart-Leaf Swertia. Sepals are 4-6 x 1-1.5 mm, narrowly ovate, pointed, free. Flowers are lurid green or yellowish green with purple veine or dots, tube 0.5-1 mm, lobes 5-7 x 1.5-2.5 mm, ovate to elliptic-oblong, acute. Glands are watch-pocket shaped with short, compound fimbriae, one lobe. Filaments 4-6 mm, anther oblong to ovate-oblong, obtuse. Seeds are polyhedral, more or less rounded, warted. Winged-Stem Swertia is found in the Himalayas, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 2000-3600 m. Flowering: August-November.

Identification credit: Gurcharan Singh Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.

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