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Swertia Linn.


Description from Flora of China

Agathotes D. Don; Anagallidium Grisebach; Kingdon-wardia C. Marquand; Ophelia D. Don ex G. Don; Sczukinia Turczaninow.

Herbs annual or perennial. Roots fibrous or woody; primary roots with few secondary rootlets or rhizomes short and with few fleshy adventitious rootlets. Stems absent, scapiform, or well developed, ascending or erect, terete, striate or angled, simple or branched. Leaves opposite, rarely alternate or whorled, margin entire. Inflorescences cymose, usually grouped into simple or paniculate thyrses, rarely strictly dichotomous, sometimes reduced to single flowers and inflorescences racemelike or flowers solitary and terminal. Flowers 4- or 5-merous. Calyx and corolla rotate, lobed to base, tubes less than 3 mm. Nectaries 1 or 2 per corolla lobe, with fimbriate margin or represented by naked spotlike gland patches. Stamens inserted at base of corolla tube. Ovary 1-celled. Style short to elongate. Capsules 2-valved, few to many seeded. Seeds small.

About 150 species: worldwide, mainly in Asia and Africa, few in North America and Europe; 75 species in China.

Swertia guibeiensis C. Z. Gao has been described from Guangxi (C. Z. Gao, Guihaia 14: 20-22. 1994). However, specimens have not been seen by the authors, and the species is not included in this treatment.

Lower Taxa


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