Swertia welwitschii Engl.

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Swertia welwitschii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Airedale rd to Bonda, Nyanga

Swertia welwitschii

Photo: Bart Wursten
Along Circular Drive towards Mt Nyangani, Nyanga National Park.

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Species details: Click on each item to see an explanation of that item (Note: opens a new window)

Synonyms: Adenopogon stellarioides Welw.
Swertia sharpei N.E. Br.
Swertia stellarioides Hiern
Common names:
Status: Native
Erect annual herb, 25-80 cm. Stems simple or branching at the apex. Basal leaves soon disappearing. Leaves along the stem suberect, linear-lanceolate, 3 veined from the base. Flowers 5-merous, white or cream with darker veins. Corolla divided nearly to the base with two yellowish nectar glands at the base of each lobe. Fruit a small, narrowly ellipsoid capsule, splitting into 2 valves.
Derivation of specific name: welwitschii: named after the Austrian botanist, Friedrich Martin Welwitsch (1806-1872)
Habitat: In wet, marshy grassland and along river banks.
Altitude range: (metres) 1350 - 2400 m
Flowering time:
Worldwide distribution: Angola, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Zimbabwe distribution: N,C,E
Growth form(s):
Endemic status:
Red data list status:
Insects associated with this species:
Spot characters: Display spot characters for this species
Images last updated: Friday 1 February 2019

Burrows, J.E. & Willis, C.K. (eds) (2005). Plants of the Nyika Plateau Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 31 SABONET, Pretoria Page 178.

Chapano, C. & Mamuto, M. (2003). Plants of the Chimanimani District National Herbarium and Botanic Garden, Zimbabwe Page 54.

Mapaura, A. & Timberlake, J. (eds) (2004). A checklist of Zimbabwean vascular plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 33 Sabonet, Pretoria and Harare Page 53.

Paiva, J. & Nogueira, I. (1990). Gentianaceae Flora Zambesiaca 7(4) Page 28.

Phiri, P.S.M. (2005). A Checklist of Zambian Vascular Plants Southern African Botanical Diversity Network Report No. 32 Page 67.

Wursten, B., Timberlake, J. & Darbyshire, I. (2017). The Chimanimani Mountains: an updated checklist. Kirkia 19(1) Page 92.

Other sources of information about Swertia welwitschii:

Our websites:

Flora of Malawi: Swertia welwitschii
Flora of Mozambique: Swertia welwitschii
Flora of Zambia: Swertia welwitschii

External websites:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Swertia welwitschii
African Plant Database: Swertia welwitschii
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Swertia welwitschii
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Swertia welwitschii
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Swertia welwitschii
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Swertia welwitschii
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Swertia welwitschii
JSTOR Plant Science: Swertia welwitschii
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Swertia welwitschii
Plants of the World Online: Swertia welwitschii
Tropicos: Swertia welwitschii
Wikipedia: Swertia welwitschii

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2002-23

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2023). Flora of Zimbabwe: Species information: Swertia welwitschii.
https://www.zimbabweflora.co.zw/speciesdata/species.php?species_id=144840, retrieved 5 October 2023

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