4273.000 Polygala L.

Description of the genus

Annual or perennial herbs or shrubs. Flowers zygomorphic, papilionaceous, in terminal or lateral racemes, rarely solitary. Sepals unequal, 5, the 3 outer ones usually sepaloid (see note below) and the 2 inner ones (wings) larger and petaloid. The sepals are either all free or the 2 anterior ones are united. Petals 3(-5), the lowest one (the keel) usually crested; two lateral ones usually vestigial or 0, and 2 upper ones joined at the base to the keel. Stamens 8 (rarely 4 or 5), sometimes only 6 fertile with 2 staminodes. Ovary 2-locular. Fruit a flattened, capsule. Seeds 2, usually with a caruncle and with sericeous indumentum. Of the three outer, sepaloid sepals, two are anterior and one posterior. It is helpful to examine these plants when fresh and to note whether the anterior sepals are free or united. If they are united, note also if there are 8 fertile stamens or 6 fertile and 2 staminodes.

Worldwide: c. 500 species, ± cosmopolitan

Botswana: 9 taxa.

Polygala hottentotta

Links to taxa:     View: living plant images - herbarium specimen images - all images for this genus

SpeciesFZ divisionsContent
albida Schinz subsp. albida Description, Image
capillaris E. Mey.Description, Image
erioptera DC. subsp. erioptera NDescription, Image
hottentotta C. PreslSEDescription, Image
kalaxariensis Schinz
petitiana A. Rich. subsp. parviflora (Exell) Paiva
schinziana ChodatDescription, Image
seminuda Harv.
sphenoptera Fresen.N,SEDescription, Image

Other sources of information about Polygala:

Our websites:

Flora of Caprivi: Polygala
Flora of Malawi: Polygala
Flora of Mozambique: Polygala
Flora of Mozambique: cultivated Polygala
Flora of Zambia: Polygala
Flora of Zimbabwe: Polygala
Flora of Zimbabwe: cultivated Polygala

External websites:

ePIC (electronic Plant Information Center): Polygala
Flora Zambesiaca web site: Polygala
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
GRIN (Germplasm Resources Information Network) taxonomy for plants report for Polygala
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Polygala
Kew Herbarium catalogue: Polygala

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-19

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2019). Flora of Botswana: Genus page: Polygala.
https://www.botswanaflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=824, retrieved 17 September 2019

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