Alpine Swertia
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Alpine Swertia
A Native Photo: Amber Srivastava
Common name: Alpine Swertia
Botanical name: Swertia alpina    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Alpine Swertia is an annual, erect herb, 17.5-26.5 cm, with simple to branched tetragonal stem. Leaves are stalkless: middle one ovate to heart-shaped, 1.5-2.5 cm long; upper leaves lanceshaped, 0.8-2 cm long, pointed, 1-3 nerved. Flowers are borne in leaf-axils or at branch-ends, in cymes of 2-6 clustered flowers. Flower-cluster-stalks are 0.7-3.5 cm long; bracts linear, pointed. Flowers are 5-merous, 6-9 mm long, purplish; flower-stalks 0.4-2.5 cm long. Flowers are larger than the sepal-cup; petals ovate-lanceshaped, 6-8 mm long, pointed; glands 2, near the base on either side of each petal, oblong-ovoid, oblong. Sepal-cup is deeply 5-partite; sepals linear-lanceshaped, 4-6 mm long, tapering. Ovary is oblong-elliptic, 4-5 x 2-3 mm; style absent; stigma 2-lobed. Capsules are stalkless, oblong 0.8-1.2 cm long. Alpine Swertia is found in Uttarakhand, at altitudes of 3000-4500 m.

Identification credit: Amber Srivastava Photographed in Neelkanth valley, Badrinath & Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand.

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