Some Swertia species of NW Himalayas, and a Key to species-GS11012020-1 : 3 posts by 3 authors. Attachments (1)- 6 mb.

Some Beautiful Swertia species from Western Himalayas.
Here are some species clicked from Western Himalayas
A, B, a still unidentified species, perhaps a good material for young researchers, Deovan Herbal Garden, Chakrata, September 17, 2011.
C, D, S. cordata, Budher Caves Road, Chakrata, September 18, 2011.
E, F, S. angustifolia var. pulchella, Tiger Fall Area, Chakrata, September 18, 2011.
G, H, S. chirayita, Deovan Herbal Garden, Chakrata, September 17, 2011.
I, J, S. ciliata, Budher Caves Road, Chakrata, September 18, 2011.
K, L, S. paniculata, Budher Caves Road, Chakrata, September 18, 2011.
M, N, S. speciosa, Gulmarg, Kashmir, August 17, 2011.
Here is the key I have tried to construct for species represented in our databases efloroaofindia and Flowers of India. You may help me improve it.
1. Most flowers on a plant pentamerous ……………. 2
1. Most flowers on a plant Tetramerous ……………. 11
2. Nectary 1, naked ……………….. 3
2. Nectaries 2, fimbriate …………. 5
3. Cauline leaves ovate-cordate, less than twice as long as broad ………. S. cordata
3. Caulinine leaves narrowly ovate to linear-lanceolate, more than twice as long as broad ………….. 4
4. Filaments free, corolla pale yellow, with narrow purple band above glands, leaves linear-lanceolate, usually less than 10 mm broad ……. S. paniculata Wall. (incl. S. dilatata Clarke)
4. Filaments connate into short tube at base, corolla pale purple with broad purple band near base, leaves ovate lanceolate, upto 2 cm broad ……. S. ciliata (D. Don ex G. Don) B. L. Burtt (syn: O. purpurascens Wallich ex D. Don)
5. Nectaries linear or oblong, vertical ……… 5
5. Nectaries rounded to horse-shoe shaped, mostly near centre of lobes ……… 7
6. Nectaries linear, near edges of lobes, with pilose fimbriae 2.5-3 mm long, corolla pale blue with darker veins, capsule 9-12 mm long ……… S. cuneate
6. Nectaries oblong, with a narrow scale and few long fimbriae, corolla white or pale blue, capsule 5-6 mm long ……… S. macrosperma
7. Leaves free at base ……… S. tetragona
7. Leaves connate at base …………. 8
8. corolla lobes ovate, shorter than 8 mm, cauline leaves connate for less than 5 mm …….. S. thomsonii
8. Corolla lobes elliptic-oblong, longer than 8 mm………..9
9. Leaves alternate, Corolla lobes lurid green ….. S. alternifolia
9. Leaves opposite ……………… 10
10. Plants less than 60 cm tall, cauline leaves less than 2 cm broad, corolla lurid-grey to nearly white, seeds not winged ………. S. petiolata
10. Plants up to 1.5 m tall, cauline leaves 2-4 cm broad, corolla yellowish green with usually purple to blue veins, seeds winged ….. S. speciosa
11. Nectary 1 ………….. 12
11. Nectaries 2 ………….. 18
12. Nectary naked ……….. S. hookeri
12. Nectary fimbriate ………. 13
13. Inflorescence corymbose ………… 14
13. Inflorescence elongate, paniculate ………. 16
14. Leaves crowded, calyx lobes lanceolate, corolla lobes broadly oblong, white with blue nerves, nectary rounded covered with scale ………. S. densifolia
14. Leaves distant …………….. 15
15. Calyx lobes linear-lanceolate, corolla lobes ovate, nectary ovate watch-pocket shaped with 2 compound fimbriae ………… S. lawii
15. Calyx lobes ovate, corolla white or lurid blue, lobes elliptic-obovate, nectary orbicular covered with oblong scale with fimbriate margin …… S. beddomei
16. Leaves ovate-cordate, less than twice long as broad, stem mostly 4-winged, corolla lobes lurid-green or yellow-green with purple veins or dots ……. S. alata
16. Leaves lanceolate or elliptic, more than twice as long as broad ……….. 17
17. Leaves lanceolate to elliptic, corolla lobes yellow-green with purple veins, fimbriae papillose ………. S. nervosa
17. Leaves narrowly lanceolate, corolla lobes white to greenish with purple dots, fimbriae minutely hairy ……..… S. angustifolia (calyx lobes longer than corolla…var. angustifolia, 2/3 as long as corolla….var. pulchella)
18. Nectaries naked, corolla lurid green, lobes tinged purple ………..… S. lurida
18. Nectaries fimbriate ………. 19
19. Corolla lobes ovate, greenish-yellow, cauline leaves connate ……….. S. thomsonii

19. Corolla lobes ovate acuminate, lurid green with purple base, cauline leaves free at base …. S. chiryata

I have subsequently identified A and B as Swertia alata

No, it appears different from images at


Swertia alata C.B. Clarke (Pakistan to Himalaya; East Himalaya, India, Nepal, Pakistan, West Himalaya as per POWO)










Swertia dilatata C. B. Clarke (SW. Tibet, Nepal to E. Himalaya and Assam: Assam, East Himalaya, Nepal, Tibet as per POWO)


Swertia macrosperma (C.B. Clarke) C.B. Clarke



Binomial Habit Notes Ref. Distrib.
Swertia angustifolia Buch.-Ham. var. pulchella (Buch.-Ham.ex D.Don) Burkill Herb Western Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Open  Localities Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987 Coimbatore, Dindigul, Nilgiri, Theni,  Tirunelveli, Virudhu nagar
Swertia beddomei Clarke Herb Western Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Open  Localities Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987 Nilgiri
Swertia corymbosa (Griseb.) Wight ex Clarke var. corymbosa Herb Western Ghats & Eastern Ghats, Evergreen Forests Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987; Fischer 1921 Coimbatore, Dindigul, Nilgiri, Salem
Swertia corymbosa (Griseb.) Wight ex Clarke var. grisebachiana (Wight) Clarke Herb Western Ghats, Evergreen Forests, Open  Localities Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987; Gamble 1957 Coimbatore, Dindigul, Nilgiri
Swertia densifolia (Griseb.) Kashyapa Herb Western Ghats, Evergreen Forests Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987 Coimbatore
Swertia minor (Griseb.) Knobl. Herb Western Ghats, Evergreen Forests Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987 Dindigul,  Nilgiri, Theni
Swertia trichotoma (Wight & Arn. ex Wight) Wall. ex Clarke  Herb Western Ghats, Evergreen Forests Flora of Tamil Nadu, VOL. II, 1987 Dindigul, Nilgiri, Virudhu nagar


Botanical name Synonyms Family Common name
Swertia alata Ophelia alata Gentianaceae Winged-Stem Swertia
Swertia angustifolia Gentianaceae Narrow-Leaved Swertia
Swertia bimaculata Ophelia bimaculata Gentianaceae Double-Spotted Swertia
Swertia chirayita Swertia chirata, Ophelia chirata Gentianaceae Chirayita
Swertia ciliata Ophelia ciliata, Ophelia purpurascens Gentianaceae Ciliated Swertia
Swertia cordata Ophelia cordata Gentianaceae Heart-Leaf Swertia
Swertia densifolia Gentianaceae Dense Leaved Swertia
Swertia hookeri Gentianaceae Indian Gentian
Swertia lawii Gentianaceae Law’s Swertia
Swertia minor Ophelia minor, Pleurogyna minor Gentianaceae Lesser Swertia
Swertia multicaulis Gentianaceae Many-Stem Swertia
Swertia paniculata Ophelia paniculata, Ophelia wallichii, Swertia gracilescens Gentianaceae Panicled Swertia
Swertia petiolata Gentianaceae Stalked-Leaf Swertia
Swertia speciosa Gentianaceae Showy Swertia

Swertia longifolia Boiss. (No distribution in India)


Swertia acaulis H. Sm. (No distribution in India)
Swertia barunensis P. Chassot (No distribution in India)
Swertia dilatata var. pilosa C. B. Clarke (No distribution in India)
Swertia hispidicalyx Burkill (No distribution in India)
Swertia nepalensis J. Shah (No distribution given)
Swertia pseudohookeri H. Sm. (No distribution given)
Swertia teres (G. Don) J. Shah (No distribution given)


Indian Gentianaceae: A Check-list By Sunita Garg- 1988- Brief details-
Swertia angustifolia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don var. florida (G.Don) Burkill
Swertia beddomei C.B.Clarke
Swertia corymbosa Wight ex Griseb. var. elatior Griseb.
Swertia corymbosa Wight ex Griseb. var. grisebachiana (Wight) Clarke


Screening of different East Himalayan species and populations of Swertia L. based on exomorphology and mangiferin content by Devendra Kumar Pandey, Sautrik Basu, Timir Baran Jha*- Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine (2012)S1450-S1456-
Objective: The present report embodies detailed diagnostic features of five important Red listed Swertia species for easy and authentic identification along with HPTLC fingerprinting using the ….
Species discussed:


Biodiversity in India, Volume 4 edited by T. Pullaiah (2004)- Details-


World Spice Plants: Economic Usage, Botany, Taxonomy By Johannes Seidemann (2005)- Details-


Antidiabetic Plants in India and Herbal Based Antidiabetic Research By T. Pullaiah, K. Chandrasekhar Naidu (2003)- Details-
Swertia chirayita




Hot spots of endemic plants of India, Nepal and Bhutan by M. P. NayarTropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute, 1996 – Science252 pages-
Swertia griffithii CLARKE : Perennial Sikkim and Bhutan Himalaya.
Swertia hookeri C. B. Clarke in J. D. Hooker: Perennial ; E. Nepal Sikkim, Bhutan and adjacent Tibet.

Forest Plants of Eastern India By Amal Bhusan Chaudhuri (1993)- Brief details- p. 369-
Swertia burkilliana W.W. Sm. is a synonym of Veratrilla burkilliana (W.W. Sm.) Harry Sm.
Swertia longlensis Burkill.
Swertia pulchella Clarke in Hook.f.  = Swertia angustifolia


Swertia ‎(Gentianaceae): 1 post by 1 author.

I have updated eFI (efloraofindia) page on Swertia (Pl. click).

Attempts have been made to incorporate most of the species available in India & nearby areas with details & keys directly or through links as far as possible. It’s quite possible that there may be some discrepancy in the accepted names & synonyms taken from other links.

Species discussed so far in efloraofindia are given at the bottom of the page in the form of links against Subpages. On clicking them one can see all the details.

If someone can provide complete list of Indian species with source references it will be wonderful.
Any comments/ corrections are welcome.


Pl. go through Swertia (‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎Gentianaceae‎) page with images of species in efloraofindia.

If you find any incorrect identification, pl. let us know. If anybody can send images of other species of this genera (for incorporation in the website), if any, or can identify unidentified images, it will be really nice.


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