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POLYGALACEAE MILKWORT FAMILY

Robert E. Preston & Thomas L. Wendt

[Annual] perennial herb, subshrub, shrub [tree, vine]; hairs unbranched. Leaf: simple, generally alternate (opposite or whorled); veins pinnate; margin generally ± entire; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or panicle. Flower: bisexual, generally bilateral and ± pea-flower-like [or ± radial]; sepals 5, fused or not, lateral or inner pair generally larger and petal-like (called wings); petals 5[3], fused to stamen tube, [± similar or] different with 1 lower keel petal, 2 strap-like upper petals, and 2[0] lateral petals; stamens 3–10, ± fused, tube open at top; ovary chambers 1–8 with 1 ovule each, style 1 or 0. Fruit: capsule [drupe or nut; occasionally winged]. Seed: often with aril.
20 genera, 1000 species: especially tropics, subtropics few cultivated. [Persson 2001 Taxon 50:763–779] —Scientific Editors: Bruce G. Baldwin.

POLYGALA MILKWORT
Root odor generally wintergreen. Inflorescence: raceme or spike, occasionally grouped and panicle-like; cleistogamous flowers occasionally solitary. Flower: bilateral; lateral 2 sepals enlarged; petals 3 or 5, keel petal generally with cylindric beak or fringed crest at tip; stamens 6–8, anthers dehiscent at tip, appearing 1-chambered; with nectary disk or gland; ovary chambers 2, stigma 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule. Seed: fusiform or ovoid, black, generally hairy, generally with prominent white aril on 1 end.
± 500 species: tropics, temperate. (Greek: much milk, some European species said to increase milk in cows) [Wendt 1979 J Arnold Arbor 60:504–514]

Key to Polygala

Previous taxon: Polygalaceae
Next taxon: Polygala acanthoclada

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Sep 1 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Polygala, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=9160, accessed on Sep 1 2014

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