Orpine Milkwort
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Orpine Milkwort
P Native Photo: C. Rajasekar
Common name: Orpine Milkwort • Hindi: Meradu • Kannada: Elesoppu, Bili cheeni kanigalu, Ghuntaani, Meradu • Marathi: नेगली Negli • Tamil: Chiriya nankai, Chiriya nantai • Telugu: Nelajanumu
Botanical name: Polygala telephioides    Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort family)

Orpine Milkwort is a spreading herb with leaves 15-20 x 5 mm, elliptic or lanceshaped, tip bluntly tapering, base wedge-shaped, leaf-stalk about 6 mm. It is so named because of its superficial similarity with Orpine plants. Flowers are about 3 mm across in leaf opposed racemes in leaf-axils. They are blue, outer sepals about 1.5 mm long, linear-lanceshaped, fringed with hairs, inner sepals about 2 mm long, elliptic, becoming hairless. Wing petals are 1.5 mm, obovate, keel petals about 3 mm; filaments variously fused middle two free; ovary about 1 mm, fringed with hairs, style curved at the middle, tip broad, stigma knob like. Capsules are about 2.5 x 2 mm, nearly round, covered with wing sepals. Orpine Milkwort is found in India, Sri Lanka and parts of SE Asia. Flowering: October-December.

Identification credit: C. Rajasekar Photographed in Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu.

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