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Swertia perennis 230705.jpg
Swertia perennis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Gentianaceae
Genus: Swertia
Type species
Swertia perennis L.

120-150, See text.

  • Kingdon-Wardia C. Marquand
  • Ophelia D. Don
  • Pleurogyne Eschsch. ex Griseb.
  • Swertopsis Makino
  • Synallodia Raf.
  • Tesseranthium Kellogg

Probable synonyms

  • Anagallidium Griseb.

Possible synonyms

  • Frasera Walter
  • Lomatogoniopsis T. N. Ho & S. W. Liu

Sources: GRIN,[1] ING,[2] NHM[3]

Swertia is a genus in the gentian family containing plants sometimes referred to as the felworts.[4] Some species bear very showy purple and blue flowers.[5][6]

Plants of genus Frasera are sometimes considered part of this genus, sometimes as a separate genus, and sometimes as synonymous.

Selected species[edit]

  • Swertia angustifolia Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don
  • Swertia bimaculata (Siebold & Zucc.) C. B. Clarke
    • Swertia bimaculata (Siebold & Zucc.) Hook. f. & Thoms.
  • Swertia calcicola Kerr.
  • Swertia chinensis (Griseb.) Franch.
    • Swertia diluta (Turcz.) Benth. & Hook. f.
  • Swertia chirayita (Roxb. ex Fleming) H. Karst.
    • Swertia chirata (Wall.) C. B. Clarke
  • Swertia ciliata (D. Don ex G. Don) B. L. Burtt.
  • Swertia dilatata C. B. Clarke
  • Swertia hookeri C. B. Clarke
  • Swertia japonica (Roem. & Schult.) Makino
  • Swertia leducii Franch.
    • Swertia mileensis T. N. Ho & W. L. Shih
  • Swertia macrosperma C. B. Clarke
  • Swertia multicaulis D. Don
  • Swertia nervosa (G. Don) C. B. Clarke
  • Swertia perennis L.
  • Swertia punicea Hemsl.
  • Swertia purpurascens (D. Don) A. Wall ex E. D. Clarke
  • Swertia striata Collett & Hemsl.
  • Swertia tibetica Batal.
  • Swertia tongluensis Burkill


Chemical constituents[edit]

Swertia contains the chemicals sawertiamarine, mangeferin and amarogenitine[8] 1,5,8-trihydroxy-3-methoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxy-2,3,5,7-tetramethoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxy-3,5,8-trimethoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxyl-2,3,4,6-tetramethoxyxanthone, 1-hydroxy-2,3,4,7-tetramethoxyxanthone, 1,8-dihydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyxanthone, 1,7-dihydroxy-3,8-dimethoxyxanthone, 1,3,5,8-tetrahydroxyxanthone, balanophonin, oleanolic acid, maslinic acid, and sumaresinolic acid.[9] Swerilactones from Swertia mileensis showed anti-hepatitis B virus activity in vitro.[10]

Traditional medicine[edit]

Swertia is used in Indian Ayurvedic Herbal System to cure Fever as in Laghu sudarshana churna, Maha sudarshan Churna and in Tibetan folk medicine.[11][full citation needed] It is also one of most widely used medicinal plants of Sikkim, and is considered Vulnerable based on IUCN CAMP Criteria. [12]


  1. ^ a b Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) (2004-09-23). "Genus: Swertia". Taxonomy for Plants. USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program, National Germplasm Resources Laboratory, Beltsville, Maryland. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  2. ^ "Index Nominum Genericorum database". International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. Smithsonian Institution. 1978. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  3. ^ "Linnaean Name: Swertia perennis Linnaeus". The Linnaean Plant Name Typification Project. Natural History Museum. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  4. ^ "Swertia". Natural Resources Conservation Service PLANTS Database. USDA. Retrieved 4 December 2015. 
  5. ^ http://www.iisc.ernet.in/~currsci/aug252005/635.pdf
  6. ^ http://www.ansab.org/UserFiles/chiraito.pdf
  7. ^ Porcher, Michel H.; et al. (2004). "Sorting Swertia names". Multilingual Multiscript Plant Name Database. The University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2008-05-16. 
  8. ^ Journal of Ethnopharmacology 98 (2005) 31–35
  9. ^ Li XS, Jiang ZY, Wang FS, Ma YB, Zhang XM, Chen JJ (2008). "Chemical constituents from herbs of Swertia mileensis". Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 33 (23): 2790–2793. PMID 19260313. 
  10. ^ Geng CA, Zhang XM, Ma YB, Luo J, Chen JJ (2011). "Swerilactones L-O, secoiridoids with C₁₂ and C₁₃ skeletons from Swertia mileensis". J Nat Prod. 74 (8): 1822–1825. PMID 21823575. doi:10.1021/np200256b. 
  11. ^ Variation of active constituents of an important Tibet folk medicine Huiling Yang, Chenxu Ding, Yuanwen Duan, Jianquan Liu
  12. ^ O'Neill, Alexander; et al. (2017-03-29). "Integrating ethnobiological knowledge into biodiversity conservation in the Eastern Himalayas". Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine. 13 (21). doi:10.1186/s13002-017-0148-9. Retrieved 2017-05-11. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Swertia at Wikimedia Commons