E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Swertia perennis L.
alpine bog swertia (felwort)
Gentianaceae (Gentian family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Virginia Skilton  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #84104)

E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Swertia perennis
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a thick short rhizome; stems solitary, simple, erect, 10-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves egg-shaped to oblong-elliptic, short- to long-stalked, 5-12 cm long; stem leaves opposite, reduced except at the first 2-3 nodes, short-stalked or unstalked.
Inflorescence of terminal and sometimes axillary clusters of 1 to several, long-stalked flowers; corollas bluish-purple to whitish with streaks of green, 10-16 mm long, 5-lobed, the lobes cleft nearly to the base, each lanceolate lobe with a pair of circular fringed depressions at the base; calyces deeply 5-lobed, the lobes lanceolate, just over 1/2 as long as the corollas; stamens 2/3 the length of the corollas; anthers 2.5 mm long.
Capsules, lance-elliptic, compressed, 7-12 mm long; seeds oblong, flattened or angular, irregularly broadly winged, dark-brown, glabrous.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist meadows, streambanks, thickets and open forests in the lowland to alpine zones; infrequent in extreme NW BC and along the coast; circumpolar, N to AK and S to CO, NM and CA; Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Swertia perennis

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 680 680 680
Slope Gradient (%) 50 50 50
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
360 360 360
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
4 4 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: MH(1)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Swertia perennis var. obtusa (Ledeb.) Ledeb. ex Griseb.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References