Showy Swertia
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Showy Swertia
ative Photo: Krishan Lal
Common name: Showy Swertia
Botanical name: Swertia speciosa    Family: Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Showy Swertia is a perennial herb with large lurid gray flowers with 5 narrlow elliptic spreading petals, each with paired long-fringed nectaries at its base. Flowers are 2-2.5 cm across, in a long narrow cluster at the top. Petals are 1.5-2 cm long, sepals narrow elliptic pointed, much overlapping at at base, up to 1.5 cm long. Stem leaves are oppositely arranged, elliptic, stalkless, 12-15 cm long. Basal leaves are stalked and stem-clasping. Stem is rather thick, hollow, about 2-5 ft. Showy Swertia is found in the Himalayas, from Pakistan to Bhutan, at altitudes of 2700-4000 m. Flowering: July-September.

Identification credit: Krishan Lal
Photographed in Sirmaur Distt, Himachal Pradesh.
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