Gentianaceae Swertia utahensis

Swertia utahensis

Swertia utahensis

Family: Gentianaceae – Gentian Family

Perennial or biennial herbs from a taproot; bitter juice; stems 2.3' to 4.9' (7 to 15 dm) tall

Leaves: opposite; simple; white-margined; basal ones 2.8” to 8” (7 to 20 cm) long, 0.28” to 0.8” (7 to 20 mm) wide

Flowers: 4 or 5 lobed petals white to greenish yellow marked with dark green dots; petal lobes 0.24” to 0.4” (6 to 10 mm) long; 4 lobed sepals; 4 or 5 stamens

Pollinators: other genera in this family are pollinated by insects (specifically bees, flies and beetles)

Fruits: capsule

Blooms in Arches National Park: April, May, June, July, August, September

Habitat in Arches National Park: desert shrub and pinyon-juniper communities

Location seen: park road near junction with Delicate Arch road

Other: The genus name, “Swertia”, honors Emanuel Sweert (1552-1612), a Dutch gardener and author. The species name, “utahensis”, means “of or from Utah” referring to the plant's range.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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