FoI
Siberian Milkwort   
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Siberian Milkwort
P Native Photo: S. Jeevith
Common name: Siberian Milkwort
Botanical name: Polygala sibirica    Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort family)
Synonyms: Polygala japonica, Polygala monopetala, Polygala taquetii

Siberian Milkwort is a perennial, velvet-hairy, erect herb, 10-25 cm tall. Stems are usually many from the base. Lower leaves are smaller, ovate; upper leaves larger, elliptic or linear-lanceshaped, recurved, tapering, 3-27 mm long, 1-10 mm broad. Flowers are borne in racemes at branch-ends and lateral, 1-10 cm long. Bracts are shed off early. Flower-stalks are 2-3.5 mm, elongating in fruit to 3-5 mm. Sepals are persistent; outer sepals equal, narrowly hyaline margined; inner sepals ovate-lanceshaped, pointed-tapering, oblique, sickle shaped, 4-6 mm long, 1.5-3 mm broad, covering less than 1/2 of the fruit, fringed with hairs, 3-nerved, veinlets hardly anastomosing. Lateral petals are equal to or shorter than keel; keel 4-5 mm long, crested. Capsule is inverted-heart-shaped, 5.5-6 mm long, 5-5.5 mm broad, hairless, wing 0.5-0.75 mm, fringed with hairs. Siberian Milkwort is found in the Himalayas, at altitudes of 1100-3300 m. It is also found in South India and Western Ghats. Globally it is found in Japan, Korea, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Russia; SW Asia, Australia, Europe. Flowering: April-May.
Medicinal uses: The leaves are used in the treatment of spermatorrhoea. They are ingested as a kidney tonic. The roots are diuretic, expectorant, haemolytic and sedative. Using them lowers the blood pressure. They are used in the treatment of coughs, bronchitis, insomnia, infantile convulsions, amnesia, sexual impotency etc.

Identification credit: S. Jeevith Photographed in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu.

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