Law's Swertia
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Law's Swertia
ative Photo: Prashant Awale
Common name: Law's Swertia • Sanskrit: Kiratatikta
Botanical name: Swertia lawii    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Law's Swertia is an erect herbs, up to 2 ft tall. Leaves are simple, opposite, triangular-ovate, up to 3.5 x 1.3 cm, lanceolate, acuminate, rounded-truncate at base, 3-nerved. Flowers are borne in terminal lax cymes, about 3.5 cm long, cymules at the ends of the inflorescence branches lax. Calyx is deeply 4 or 5 partite, tube 0 or very short, sepals narrowly lanceshaped. Flowers are white with blue nerves, flat, petals 4 or 5, obovate, mucronate; nectary 1 near the base of each petal large, ciliate, covered with a fimbriate scale. Stamens are 4 or 5, inserted at the base of the corolla, free or slightly jointed in a ring; filaments linear, often dilated downwards; anthers oblong, versatile. Ovary is 1-celled, the placentas slightly intruded; ovules many; style short or 0; stigma bilobed. Capsule is stalkless, ovate or oblong, 2-valved, seeds usually many, small. Law's Swertia is endemic to Peninsular India. Flowering: November-January.
Medicinal uses: Used as a substitute for Swertia chirayita.

Identification credit: Shrikant Ingalhalikar
Photographed at Mullayangiri, Karnataka.
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