Some similarities to : Gentians and Centauries, to which it is related. Gentians have blue flowers, whereas those of Centauries are pinkish.
Uniquely identifiable characteristics
Distinguishing Feature : The yellow Centaury-like flowers and the glaucous broad pointed leaves attached in opposite pairs to the main stem like a cup surrounding the main stem, in a similar fashion to those of Red Valerian. The plant is half as tall as Red Valerian, but a little taller than most Centauries or Gentians.
The yellow petals usually number 8, but can number anywhere from 6 to 8 inclusive. It is found mainly on sand dunes or on short turf on lime.
It is the only member of the Genus Blackstonia, or at least in the UK.
Many of these Iridoid Glycosides are present in other members of the Gentian family of plants such as the Centauries and Gentians. The Lonicera Genus and Plantaginaceae families also contain many similar iridoids, secoiridoids and Secoiridoid Glycosides.
Gentiopicrin (aka Gentiopicroside) has analgesic effects useful for persistent inflammatory pain. It is widely used as a gastric stimulant, specifically for dyspepsia and gastric inflammation, but also for hapatic and gall-bladder disease. Also as an adjunct to chronic inflammatory disease.
Sweroside exhibits significant anti-bacterial properties whilst both Sweroside and Swertiamain exhibit cytotoxicity, but 12 and 3 times less potent (respectively) than is Podophyllotoxin, a well known toxic lignan.