Forked Milkwort
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Forked Milkwort
A Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Forked Milkwort • Nepali: Phabare-ghans
Botanical name: Polygala furcata    Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort family)
Synonyms: Polygala glaucescens, Polygala triphylla, Polygala hyalina

Forked Milkwort is an erect annual herb, 4-25 cm high, hairless; stems slender, narrowly winged in upper portions, forked at tip, often bearing a raceme at the point of fork. Leaves are opposite below, crowded towards top, elliptic or ovate-lanceshaped, narrowed at base, somewhat pointed at tip, 1-6 x 0.5-3.5 cm. Flowers are yellow, 4-5 mm long, usually one-sided in leaf-axils, at branch-ends or lateral, in long-stalked racemes up to 8 cm long; bracts 2-3, linear, 1-2 mm long, hairless, falling off. Outer sepals unequal, ovate or narrow-ovate, clawed at base, blunt or subpointed at tip, 2 - 3 mm long; wing sepals oblong, clawed-narrowed at base, blunt at tip, 1.5 - 2 mm long, petaloid, deciduous. Petals are 3-3.5 mm long; lateral petals oblong, blunt; keel petal crested with 2 flap-like appendages at back near tip. Capsules are obovate, nearly round, flat or notched at tip, narrowly winged, about 2.5 x 2 mm across. Forked Milkwort is found in subtropical to temperate regions, on grassy slopes, in the Himalayas, from Jammu & Kashmir to NE India, and also in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh, at altitudes of 600-1600 m. Outside India it is found in Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and S. China. Flowering: June-December.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Chakrata, Uttarakhand.

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