Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Swertia perennis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: GentianaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb [to trees]. Stem: decumbent to erect, < 2 m, simple or branched. Leaf: simple, cauline, sometimes also basal, opposite or whorled, entire, sessile or basal +- petioled; stipules 0. Flower: bisexual, radial, parts in 4s or 5s except pistil 1; sepals fused, persistent; petals fused, +- persistent, sinus between lobes often unappendaged; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes; ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas parietal, often intruding, stigmas 1--2. Fruit: capsule, 2-valved. Seed: many.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, 1800 species: worldwide; some cultivated (Eustoma, Exacum, Gentiana). Note: Gentianella tenella moved to Comastoma. Key to genera revised by Bruce G. Baldwin.
eFlora Treatment Author: James S. Pringle, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SwertiaView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb; non-flowering rosettes appearing with flower-stems. Leaf: basal +- petioled; cauline generally (sub)opposite or some alternate, < basal, bases not fused-sheathing. Inflorescence: cyme or panicle of dense clusters. Flower: parts generally in 5s, sometimes in 4s; calyx fused near base, lobes lanceolate; corolla rotate (bell-shaped), lobes >> tube, ridge between stamens fringed or scaled or neither, nectary pits prominent, 2 per lobe, margins of openings +- fringed; ovary sessile, style short, poorly differentiated, persistent, entire, stigmas 2.
Species In Genus: +- 135 species: temperate North America, Eurasia, Africa. Etymology: (E. Sweert, Swert, or Sweerts, Dutch botanist, florist, herbalist, artist, 1552--1612) Note: Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Frasera.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce G. Baldwin

Swertia perennis L.
Habit: Plant 1--5 dm, glabrous. Stem: generally 1; rosettes 1--few. Leaf: basal 3--16 cm, 12--30 mm wide, spoon-shaped to obovate, tips obtuse; cauline elliptic-oblanceolate, tips subacute. Inflorescence: open; pedicels 2--30(60) mm. Flower: calyx 4--8 mm; corolla 7--13 mm, blue-white to -violet, veins darker, lobes lance-oblong, acute, ridge between stamens low, nectary pits round. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Wet meadows, bogs; Elevation: 2300--3200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, n&s SNH; Distribution Outside California: Oregon (Wallowa Mountains), also Alaska to Colorado; Eurasia. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep
Synonyms: Swertia covillei Greene
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce G. Baldwin
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botanical illustration including Swertia perennis


Citation for this treatment: Bruce G. Baldwin 2017. Swertia perennis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 17, 2017.

Swertia perennis
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© 2012 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Swertia perennis
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© 2015 Steve Matson
Swertia perennis
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© 2015 Steve Matson
Swertia perennis
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© 2009 California Academy of Sciences
Swertia perennis
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson
Swertia perennis
click for enlargement
© 2015 Steve Matson

More photos of Swertia perennis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Swertia perennis:
KR, n&s SNH;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.