Skip to main content
  1. Family: Polygalaceae Hoffmanns. & Link
    1. Genus: Polygala Tourn. ex L.
      1. Polygala petitiana A.Rich.

        This species is accepted, and its native range is Tropical Africa.

    [FWTA]

    Polygalaceae, Hutchinson and Dalziel. Flora of West Tropical Africa 1:1. 1954

    Habit
    Erect, simple or sparingly branched annual, with long slender stems 2–3 ft. high
    Corolla
    Corolla blue or purple
    Calyx
    Lateral sepals green with conspicuous dark veins.
    [FZ]

    Polygalaceae, A. W. Exell. Flora Zambesiaca 1:1. 1960

    Habit
    Annual herb up to 90 cm. tall with slender, glabrous or nearly glabrous stems.
    Leaves
    Leaves 20–40 x 0.5–3 mm., linear to very narrowly elliptic, with needle-like tips, glabrous.
    Flowers
    Flowers blue, white or yellow, pedicels 1–4 mm. long, in elongated terminal racemes up to 15 cm. long with glabrous rhachis, caducous bracts up to 2 mm. long and bracteoles up to 1 mm. long.
    Calyx
    Posterior sepal 1.5–3 mm. long; wing sepals 2–5 x 0.8–3 mm., elliptic; anterior sepals 1–1.5 mm. long, connate.
    Corolla
    Upper petals 1–2 x 0.8–1.5 mm., obovate-spathulate; carina 2–4 mm. long, crest absent.
    Stamens
    Stamens 8.
    Fruits
    Capsule 3–4 x 2–2.5 mm., oblong-elliptic, very narrowly winged.
    Seeds
    Seeds 1.8–2 x 0.8–1 mm., ellipsoid, with long, white, silky hairs; caruncle 0.8 mm. long, appendages absent.
    [FTEA]

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

    Type
    Type: Ethiopia, near Gafta, Schimper 1188 (P!, lecto.; BM!, FR!, K!, M!, OXF!, isolecto.)
    Habit
    Annual herb, up to 100(–150) cm tall
    Stem
    Stems erect, slender, simple or fewbranched, glabrescent to glabrous
    Leaves
    Leaves alternate, subsessile, linear to linearlanceolate, (10–)20–40(–60) × 1–4.5 mm, pointed, base cuneate, glabrous
    Flowers
    Flowers blue, sometimes white to yellowish, in terminal, simple or few-branched racemes up to 20(–35) cm long; rachis glabrous; bracts linear to linear-lanceolate, 2 mm long, caducous; bracteoles linear, 0.8–1 mm long, caducous; pedicels 1.5–4 mm, glabrous
    Calyx
    Posterior sepal keel-shaped, (1.5–)2–3 × 1–2 mm, glabrous; wing sepals obovateelliptic, (2–)3–5 × (0.8–)1.8–3 mm, with (3–)4–5 blue veins, usually not from the base, glabrous; anterior sepals keel-shaped, (1–)1.5–2 × 1.2–1.8 mm, glabrous, connate
    Corolla
    Upper petals obovate-spathulate, 3–5 × (1–)1.7–3 mm; carina (2–)3–4.5(–5) × 2.5–4 mm; crest absent, exceptionally with a vestigial one
    Stamens
    Stamens 8
    Fruits
    Capsule oblong-elliptic in outline, 3–4 × (2–)2.2–2.5(–3) mm, emarginate, very narrowly winged, glabrous
    Seeds
    Seeds ellipsoid, (2–)2.5–3(–3.5) × 1–1.5 mm, with long, white, silky hairs; caruncle asymmetrically kidney-shaped, 0.7–0.8 mm long, hairy, almost without membranous appendages.
    Note
    P. petitiana is a variable species, but it is possible to divide the complex into two subspecies; the typical one widespread throughout tropical Africa and subsp. parviflora, an East African taxon, with few-flowered racemes and smaller flowers than the former.

    Images

    Distribution

    Native to:

    Angola, Burkina, Burundi, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zaïre, Zimbabwe

    Accepted Infraspecifics

    Synonyms

    Other Data

    Polygala petitiana A.Rich. appears in other Kew resources:

    Date Reference Identified As Barcode Type Status
    Jan 1, 2014 Friis, I. [11694], Ethiopia K000966939
    Jan 1, 1975 Schimper [1650], Ethiopia K000231547
    Jan 1, 1975 Schimper [273], Ethiopia K000231548
    Chancellor, R.J. [102], Uganda 9019.000
    Schimper [1188], Ethiopia K000231545
    Schimper [1650], Ethiopia K000231546
    Bidgood, S. [6186], Tanzania K000468238
    Bidgood, S. [6068], Tanzania K000468357
    Bidgood, S. [5859], Tanzania K000468566

    Bibliography

    First published in Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 37 (1847)

    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.
    • Fischer, E., Rembold, K., Althof, A. & Obholzer, J. (2010). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Kakamega forest, Western province, Kenya Journal of East African Natural History 99: 129-226.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Paiva, j. (2007). Flora of Tropical East Africa, Polygalaceae: 1-60.
    • 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.
    • Lebrun, J.p., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1983). Flora du Rwanda 2: 1-603. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Hutchinson, J., Dalziel, J.M. & Keay, R.W.J. (1954-1958). Flora of West Tropical Africa, ed. 2, 1: 1-828.
    • Robyns, W. & al. (eds.) (1948-1963). Flore du Congo Belge et du Ruanda-Urundi 1-10.

    Literature

    Flora of West Tropical Africa

    • Chev. Fl. Viv. 1: 270.
    • Exell & Mendonca in Consp. Fl. Ang. 1: 108
    • Chodat Monogr. Polygal. 370
    • —F.T.A. 1: 133

    Kew Backbone Distributions

    • Fischer, E., Rembold, K., Althof, A. & Obholzer, J. (2010). Annotated checklist of the vascular plants of Kakamega forest, Western province, Kenya Journal of East African Natural History 99: 129-226.
    • Figueiredo, E. & Smith, G.F. (2008). Plants of Angola Strelitzia 22: 1-279. National Botanical Institute, Pretoria.
    • Lebrun, J.p., Toutain, B., Gaston, A. & Boudet, G. (1991). Catalogue des Plantes Vasculaires du Burkina Faso: 1-341. Institut d' Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux, Maisons Alfort.
    • Boudet, G., Lebrun, J.P. & Demange, R. (1986). Catalogue des plantes vasculaires du Mali: 1-465. Etudes d'Elevage et de Médecine Vétérinaire des Pays Tropicaux.
    • Brunel, J.F., Hiepo, P. & Scholz, H. (eds.) (1984). Flore Analytique du Togo Phanérogames: 1-751. GTZ, Eschborn.
    • Troupin, G. (ed.) (1983). Flora du Rwanda 2: 1-603. Musee Royal de l'Afrique Centrale.
    • Exell, A.W. & Wild, H. (eds.) (1960). Flora Zambesiaca 1(1): 1-336. Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

    Flora of Tropical East Africa

    • Fl. Eth. 2, 1: 187, fig. 24.4/12–14 (2000).
    • Fontqueria 50: 226, t. 43/i (1998)
    • U.K.W.F. ed. 2: 55 (1994)
    • F.P.U.: 52 (1962)
    • F.Z. 1, 1: 334 (1960)
    • F.C.B. 7: 278, t. 29 (1958)
    • Tent. Fl. Abyss. 1: 37 (1847)

    Sources

    Flora Zambesiaca
    Flora Zambesiaca
    http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0

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

    Flora of West Tropical Africa
    Flora of West Tropical 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