Skip to main content
  1. Family: Polygalaceae Hoffmanns. & Link
    1. Genus: Polygala Tourn. ex L.
      1. Polygala abyssinica R.Br. ex Fresen.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is NE. Tropical Africa to N. Tanzania, Arabian Peninsula, E. Afghanistan to Indian Subcontinent.

    [FTEA]

    Polygalaceae, Jorge Paiva. Flora of Tropical East Africa, 2007

    Type
    Type: Ethiopia, Semien, Rüppell 38 (FR!, holo.; COI!, iso.)
    Habit
    Perennial herb, 30–50 cm tall
    Stem
    Stems erect, ± branched from the woody base, striate, sparsely pubescent to glabrous
    Leaves
    Leaves alternate, shortly petiolate (petiole 0.5–1 mm), linear to oblong-lanceolate, 1–40 × 0.5–4(–6) mm, acute to almost obtuse, minutely hairy to glabrous
    Flowers
    Flowers purple or pinkish, in elongate terminal racemes up to 20 cm long; rachis sparsely pubescent to glabrous; bracts linear, 1.5–3 mm long, caducous; bracteoles linear, 1–1.5 mm long, caducous; pedicels 2.5–3.5 mm, glabrous
    Calyx
    Posterior sepal lanceolate, 2.5–3.5 mm long glabrous; wing sepals elliptic to slightly obovate, 7–8.5 × 3.5–5 mm, with prominent purple or greenish veins, apiculate, glabrous; anterior sepals linear-lanceolate, 2–3 mm long, glabrous, free
    Corolla
    Upper petals oblongelliptic to spathulate, 3.5–5 × 2 mm; carina 5–6.5 × 3 mm; crest 1.5–2 mm long
    Stamens
    Stamens 8
    Fruits
    Capsule obliquely obovate-elliptic in outline, 5–5.5(–6) × 3–3.5 mm, very narrowly winged, glabrous
    Seeds
    Seeds ellipsoid, 4–4.5 × 1.5 mm, with dense white, silky hairs; caruncle asymmetric, 0.3–0.5 mm long, with almost inconspicuous appendages, 0.1–0.2 mm long
    Figures
    Fig 11: 2, p 20
    Ecology
    Scattered tree grassland, grassland, in rock crevices, often on volcanic ash or black soils; 1000–2700 m
    Note
    I did not find the type [Kenya, Elmenteita, 1500–2100 m, Scott Elliot 6689 (B†?, holo.)] of P. alata Chodat [in Engl. E.J. 34: 200 (1896); Paiva in Fontqueria 50: 307 (1998)], but there is at Kew one specimen of Scott Elliot 6689 from Lake Nakuru (in the same district as Elmenteita) handwritten as P. alata Chodat, which is P. abyssinica Fresen. Even Chodat [in Bull. Herb. Boisier 4 (12): 910 (1896)] says that his species was similar to P. abyssinica Fresen. Later [in Engl., E.J. 48 (1–2): 327 (1912)], he cites again P. alata Chodat from East Africa [Tanzania, Longido-Berge (Uhlig in Exped. D. Otto-Wintes-Stiftung n. 199]. I have not found those specimens or their duplicates, but I am almost sure that they belong to P. abyssinica, which is very polymorphic and common in Nakuru District ( K 3) and Masai District ( T 2).
    Distribution
    Flora districts: U1 K3 K4 K6 T2 Range: Sudan, Ethiopia, Djibouti and Somalia, Arabian Peninsula

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Afghanistan, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gulf States, India, Kenya, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Socotra, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, West Himalaya, Yemen

    Accepted Infraspecifics

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Polygala abyssinica R.Br. ex Fresen. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 1977 Schimper [1109], Ethiopia K000231541
    Eyles, F. [8842], Zimbabwe 9018.000

    Bibliography

    First published in Mus. Senckenberg. 2: 273 (1837)

    Accepted by

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Kumar, S. (2012). Herbaceous flora of Jaunsar-Bawar (Uttarkhand), India: enumerations Phytotaxonomy 12: 33-56.
    • Llewellyn, O.A., Hall, M., Miller, A.G., Al-Abbasi, T.M., Al-Wetaid, A.H., Al-Harbi, R.J. & Al-Shammari, K.F. (2011). Important plant areas in the Arabian peninsula: 4. Jabal Aja Edinburgh Journal of Botany 68: 199-224.
    • Paiva, j. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Polygalaceae: 1-60.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M., Demissew, S. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (2000). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(1): 1-532. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Jongbloed, M., Western, R.A. & Boer, B. (2000). Annotated Check-list for plants in the U.A.E.: 1-90. Zodiac Publishing, Dubai.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Thulin, M. (ed.) (1993). Flora of Somalia 1: 1-493. The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Ghazanfar, S.A. (1992). An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Oman and their Vernacular names Scripta Botanica Belgica 2: 1-153.
    • Nasir, E. & Ali, S.I. (eds.) (1970-1995). Flora of West Pakistan 1-131.

    Literature

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Darbyshire, I., Kordofani, M., Farag, I., Candiga, R. & Pickering, H. (eds.) (2015). The Plants of Sudan and South Sudan: 1-400. Kew publishing, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Kumar, S. (2012). Herbaceous flora of Jaunsar-Bawar (Uttarkhand), India: enumerations Phytotaxonomy 12: 33-56.
    • Llewellyn, O.A., Hall, M., Miller, A.G., Al-Abbasi, T.M., Al-Wetaid, A.H., Al-Harbi, R.J. & Al-Shammari, K.F. (2011). Important plant areas in the Arabian peninsula: 4. Jabal Aja Edinburgh Journal of Botany 68: 199-224.
    • Paiva, j. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Polygalaceae: 1-60.
    • Miller, A.G. & Morris, M. (2004). Ethnoflora of Soqotra Archipelago: 1-759. The Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh.
    • Edwards, S., Tadesse, M., Demissew, S. & Hedberg, I. (eds.) (2000). Flora of Ethiopia and Eritrea 2(1): 1-532. The National Herbarium, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia & The Department of Systematic Botany, Upps.
    • Jongbloed, M., Western, R.A. & Boer, B. (2000). Annotated Check-list for plants in the U.A.E.: 1-90. Zodiac Publishing, Dubai.
    • Wood, J.R.I. (1997). A handbook of the Yemen Flora: 1-434. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.
    • Ghazanfar, S.A. (1992). An Annotated Catalogue of the Vascular Plants of Oman and their Vernacular names Scripta Botanica Belgica 2: 1-153.
    • Chrtek, J. & Krísa, B. (1977). Flora Iranica 124: 1-11. Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Fl. Eth. 2, 1: 185, t. 24.4/3–5 (2000).
    • Fontqueria 50: 258, t. 48/g-i (1998)
    • U.K.W.F. ed. 2: 55 (1994)
    • Thulin, Fl. Somalia 1: 86 (1993)
    • Blundell, Wild Fl.  E Africa t. 717 (1978)
    • Mus. Senckenb. 2: 273 (1837)

    Sources

    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    Flora of Tropical East Africa
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

    Herbarium Catalogue Specimens
    'The Herbarium Catalogue, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Published on the Internet http://www.kew.org/herbcat [accessed on Day Month Year]'. Please enter the date on which you consulted the system.
    Digital Image © Board of Trustees, RBG Kew http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

    Kew Backbone Distributions
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0

    Kew Names and Taxonomic Backbone
    The International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families 2020. Published on the Internet at http://www.ipni.org and http://apps.kew.org/wcsp/
    © Copyright 2017 International Plant Names Index and World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0