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

Malawi: 25 taxa.

Polygala virgata var. decora

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

SpeciesFZ divisionsContent
adamsonii ExellSDescription, Image
africana ChodatCDescription, Image
albida Schinz subsp. albida N,C,SDescription, Image
albida Schinz subsp. stanleyana (Chodat) PaivaN,SDescription, Image
arenaria Willd.N,S
capillaris E. Mey.SDescription, Image
erioptera DC.N,SDescription, Image
exelliana Troupin N
lactiflora Paiva & BrummittN
macrostigma ChodatN,C,S
melilotoides ChodatS
myriantha ChodatN,SDescription, Image
nyikensis Exell [NrEnd]NDescription, Image
ohlendorfiana Eckl. & Zeyh.N,C,SDescription, Image
persicariifolia DC.S
petitiana A. Rich. subsp. parviflora (Exell) PaivaN,S
petitiana A. Rich. subsp. petitiana var. petitiana C,SDescription, Image
robsonii ExellCDescription, Image
sadebeckiana GürkeS
sphenoptera Fresen.N,SDescription, Image
stenopetala KlotzschN,S
ukirensis Gürke N
usafuensis Gürke N,C
virgata Thunb. var. decora (Sond.) Harv.N,C,SDescription, Image
xanthina ChodatC,S

Other sources of information about Polygala:

Our websites:

Flora of Botswana: Polygala
Flora of Caprivi: Polygala
Flora of Caprivi: cultivated 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:

African Plants: A Photo Guide (Senckenberg): Polygala
BHL (Biodiversity Heritage Library): Polygala
EOL (Encyclopedia of Life): Polygala
GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility): Polygala
Google: Web - Images - Scholar
iNaturalist: Polygala
IPNI (International Plant Names Index): Polygala
JSTOR Plant Science: Polygala
Mansfeld World Database of Agricultural and Horticultural Crops: Polygala
Plants of the World Online: Polygala
Tropicos: Polygala
Wikipedia: Polygala

Copyright: Mark Hyde, Bart Wursten, Petra Ballings and Meg Coates Palgrave, 2014-24

Hyde, M.A., Wursten, B.T., Ballings, P. & Coates Palgrave, M. (2024). Flora of Malawi: Genus page: Polygala.
https://www.malawiflora.com/speciesdata/genus.php?genus_id=824, retrieved 22 April 2024

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