Dilated Swertia
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Dilated Swertia
P Native Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Dilated Swertia
Botanical name: Swertia dilatata    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Dilated Swertia is an erect dwarf shrub usually up to 80 cm high, deceptively similar to Panicled Swertia. Flowers are 5-merous, 1.2-1.8 cm long including flower-stalks. Flower-stalks are velvet-hairy, 4-10 mm long. Flowers are 1.2-1.9 cm across, pale yellow-green to light green with dark purple band encircling 2 green dots and one horseshoe-shaped nectar gland per petal. Petals are 6-9 x 3-4.5 mm. Nectary gland are about 1 mm long. Sepal-cup is about 1.2 cm long, sepals 5, basally fused, unequal, ovate-triangular, 6 (shorter) - 13 (longer) x 1.5-4 mm, tapering at tip, hairless. Stamens are 5-6 mm long; filaments 4-5 mm long, dilated near middle toward base, light green to sometimes purple at middle. Pistil is 5-9 mm long. Stems are 2-3.5 mm in diameter, round with ridges, branched, hairless. Leaves are usually oblong-lanceshaped to sometimes linear-lanceshaped, 2.2-5.2 x 0.4-1.2 cm, strongly tapering at tip. Dilated Swertia is found in SW. Tibet, Nepal to E. Himalaya, at altitudes of 2200-3200 m. Flowering: September-October.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Yumthang valley, Sikkim.

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