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Thursday, 25 February 2010

Family :POLYGALACEAE


P.persicarifolia Dr Phadke

P.persicarifolia Dr Phadke

FAMILY : POLYGALACEAE

Milkwort family
Polygala(Latin) means much milk. Cattle feeding on these plants are supposed to give more milk.
There are 17 genera and 900-1000 species around the world. 50 %of the plants are in genus Polygala.

Vegetative characters:

It is a small cosmopolitan family of herbaceous plants, shrubs and small trees. Leaves are alternate, always simple, usually without stipules. Polygalas have Irregular flowers and superficially resembling Fabaceae.

Inflorescence and flowers:

Flowers are generally in spikes or racemes, each flower subtended by a bract and two bracteoles.

Sepals are 5 and unequal, two side sepals are often larger and coloured like petals. Uppermost sepal is keeled(Ridged in a way that resembles two connected petals or sepals. There are three petals united at base and the lower one boat shaped or saucer shaped -keel with a fringed crest; enclosing 8 stamens and a pistil style. Stamens are often fused by their filaments into a split sheath. Ovary of two fused carpels, 2 chambered, each chamber one seeded;

Fruits and the seeds:

Fruit is a capsule.

Examples: From Maharashtra

1. Leaves amplexicaul; flowers in spike; stamens 4-5; capsule toothed … Salomonia

1. Leaves not as above; flowers in racemes; stamens 8 capsule entire. … Polygala

2.Shrubs … P.arillata

2.Herbs

3. Flowers Pink …P. bulbothrix

… P.irregularis

… P.persicarifolia

3.Flowers yellow

…P. furcata

… P.erioptera

… P.elongata

… P arvensis.

… P. Linarifolia