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Family: Polygalaceae

Kingdom: Plantae Rank: Family Parent: Polygalales Status: Valid

Common Names:

  • MILKWORT FAMILY - English, United States of America

Morphological Description

Family Recognition in the Field: Herbs (1 species woody-based) with a distinctive, bilaterally symmetrical perianth-appearing pea-like-with 5 sepals (2 larger and petal-like) and 3 petals (1 often crested); anthers dehiscing through terminal pores or slits.


Notes: A medium-sized (950 species in 17 genera), vegetatively variable, nearly cosmopolitan family whose flowers superficially resemble those of the unrelated Fabaceae. Species range from trees to shrubs, lianas, or herbs; some are parasites and extra-floral nectaries are often present. A relationship with the Malpighiaceae-Vochysiaceae complex has been suggested. (subclass Rosidae).