Among the new things I grew this year was Swertia bimaculata. Swertias are related to gentians. They don’t make much of an impact in our gardens although the five-petalled, star-shaped blooms, in a wide range of colours, are attractive. They are native to most of the Northern Hemisphere apart from Canada and all but the Western states of the USA and there are 150 species.
I have dabbled with Swertia bimaculata which is native to a wide area from Pakistan into China. It is named for the two green(ish) spots on each petal. It is supposed to be biennial or short-lived perennial. My plant had pairs of basal leaves, each deeply veined, until it sent up two stems, to about 60cm. They are well branched and each has about 50 buds. I seem to have been waiting for ever for these to open but now they have I am hooked! Each bloom is intricately marked and although the flowers are not showy they are very pretty and about 15mm across.
My main worry, and most info about them says that it seeds freely, is that there will not be time for ripe seed to form before winter. I may be worrying without needing to but I would love to see this in the garden again. For now I must make sure I take time to stand and stare.