Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Swertia perennis
felwort, alpine bog swertia

Distribution: Occurring west of the Cascades crest in west-central Washington; Alaska to California, east to the Rocky Mountains; circumboreal.

Habitat: Streambanks, wet meadows and other moist places, mid- to high elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: July-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Threatened in Washington (WANHP)

Pollination: Bees, beetles, wasps


Perennial herbs from thick, short rhizomes, the stems single at the ends of the rhizomes, 5-50 cm. tall.


Leaves mostly basal, obovate to oblong-elliptic, 5-12 cm. long, narrowed to slender petioles nearly as long as the blades; cauline leaves opposite, considerably reduced except at the first of 2-3 nodes.


Inflorescence elongate, open, 1-several flowered; calyx 5-lobed, the lobes narrow and spreading; corolla bluish-purple with green and white spots, the 5 lobes narrowly oblong, each with a pair of orbicular pits surrounded by fringes near the base; stamens 5, inserted near the base of the corolla tube; style less than 1 mm. long; ovary superior.


Capsule lance-ellipsoid, compressed, 7-12 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Swertia perennis L.
Publication: Sp. Pl. 1: 226. 1753.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Swertia perennis ssp. obtusa (Ledeb.)Ledeb.:Griseb.
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Swertia perennis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Swertia perennis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Swertia perennis information

E-Flora BC: Swertia perennis atlas page

CalPhotos: Swertia perennis photos

3 photographs:
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