Ethiopian Milkwort
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Ethiopian Milkwort
P Native Photo: Gurcharan Singh
Common name: Ethiopian Milkwort
Botanical name: Polygala abyssinica    Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort family)
Synonyms: Polygala adoensis, Polygala alata

Ethiopian Milkwort is a perennial herb, becoming hairless, woody, 20-45 cm tall. Stems are many, arising from base. Lower leaves are smaller, obovate or oblong; upper leaves linear or linear-lanceshaped, pointed-tapering, 6-19 mm long, 0.5-3 mm broad, recurved. Flowers are borne in lax, 2-3 cm long racemes at branch-ends. Bracts fall off. Sepals are persistent, hairless; outer sepals unequal, narrowly hyaline margined; inner sepals obovate, 4-4.5 mm long, 3-3.5 mm broad, slightly oblique, enlarged in fruit, 3-nerved, veinlets anastomosing. Lateral petals much shorter than keel; keel 4 mm long, crest large. Capsules are obovate, notched, 3-4 mm long, 2-2.5 mm broad, wing 0.5 mm. Ethiopian Milkwort is native to Africa, Afghanistan and Himalaya, from Kashmir to Nepal, at altitudes of 1300-2700 m. Flowering: March-September.

Identification credit: J.M. Garg Photographed in Chakrata, Uttarakhand.

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