September bush Polygala myrtifolia, photographed by Raimond Spekking.

Belongs within: Fabales.

The Polygalaceae are a family of flowering plants including the milkworts and related taxa. Members of the Polygalaceae often have flowers with the lower petal keeled. Trees of the genus Xanthophyllum are used as a source of fine wood.

Characters (from Chen, Ma & Parnell): Perennial or annual herbs or shrubs or trees, rarely small herbs (the latter sometimes saprophytic). Leaves simple, alternate, opposite, or whorled, petiolate or sessile, papery or leathery, with pinnate veins, margin entire, leaves rarely reduced and scalelike; stipules absent, sometimes spiniform or scalelike appendages present. Flowers bisexual, zygomorphic, white, yellow, or purple-red, pedicellate or sessile, in axillary or terminal racemes, panicles, or spikes, with bracts and usually also with bracteoles. Calyx persistent or caducous; sepals 5, free or connate at base, outer 3 small, inner 2 (alae) large, petal-like, or all 5 nearly equal. Petals 3 or 5, basally often connate, lower (median) one ("keel") usually inflexed, carinate, sometimes with fimbriate or lamellate or papilionaceous apical appendages. Stamens 8, 7, 5, or 4; filaments free, or variously united and forming a sheath open on upper side and troughlike; anthers basifixed, usually dehiscing by a single apical pore. Disk usually absent, if present annular or glandular. Ovary superior, 1- or 2-loculed; ovule 1 per locule, anatropous, pendulous, rarely ovules numerous and placentas parietal; style 1, erect or curved; stigmas 1 or 2, capitate. Fruit a 2-loculed capsule, dehiscing by valves, or a 1-loculed samara or a berrylike drupe, dehiscing or not. Seeds 2, or 1 with 1 sterile locule, yellow-brown, dark castaneous, or black, ovoid, globose, or ellipsoidal, glabrous or piliferous, strophiolate or not, with or without endosperm, sometimes with an appendage at end opposite to strophiole.

<==Polygalaceae [Polygaleae]
    |--Xanthophyllum H03
    `--Moutabeeae H03
         |--Balgoya H03
         `--+--Eriandra H03
            `--Diclidanthera forrestii H03, EF04

Polygalaceae incertae sedis:
  Polygala WM09
    |--P. arilata D07
    |--P. cruciata WM09
    |--P. erioptera PP07
    |--P. guerichiana CV06
    |--P. monspeliaca PT98
    |--P. myrtifolia GK00
    |--P. nicaeensis Risso ex Koch 1839 PL04
    |    |--P. n. ssp. nicaeensis PL04
    |    `--P. n. ssp. mediterranea Chodat 1889 PL04
    `--P. penaea J87
  Comesperma OS04
    |--C. calymega GK00
    |--C. ciliatum GK00
    |--C. drummondii GK00
    |--C. flavum GK00
    |--C. integerrimum OS04
    |--C. scoparium OS04
    |--C. virgatum GK00
    `--C. volubile G04
  Salomonia oblongifolia H09
  Securidaca WM09
    |--S. diversifolia WM09
    `--S. virgata J87
  Monnina xalapensis MM96

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CV06] Craven, P., & P. Vorster. 2006. Patterns of plant diversity and endemism in Namibia. Bothalia 36 (2): 175-189.

[D07] Dash, S. S. 2007. Useful plants of Kabi Sacred Grove, Sikkim. Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 79-88.

[EF04] Etten, E. J. B. van, & J. E. D. Fox. 2004. Vegetation classification and ordination of the central Hamersley Ranges, Western Australia. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 63-79.

[G04] Gibson, N. 2004. Flora and vegetation of the Eastern Goldfields Ranges: part 7. Middle and South Ironcap, Digger Rock and Hatter Hill. Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (2): 49-62.

[GK00] Gibson, N., & G. J. Keighery. 2000. Flora and vegetation of the Byenup-Muir reserve system, south-west Western Australia. CALMScience 3 (3): 323-402.

[H03] Heads, M. 2003. Ericaceae in Malesia: Vicariance biogeography, terrane tectonics and ecology. Telopea 10 (1): 311-449.

[H09] Hedley, C. 1909. The Marine Fauna of Queensland: Address by the President of Section D. Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science: Brisbane.

[J87] Judd, W. S. 1987. Floristic study of Morne La Visite and Pic Macaya National Parks, Haiti. Bulletin of the Florida State Museum – Biological Sciences 32 (1): 1-136.

[MM96] Mound, L. A., & R. Marullo. 1996. The thrips of Central and South America: an introduction (Insecta: Thysanoptera). Memoirs on Entomology, International 6: 1-487.

[OS04] Obbens, F. J., & L. W. Sage. 2004. Vegetation and flora of a diverse upland remnant of the Western Australian wheatbelt (Nature Reserve A21064). Journal of the Royal Society of Western Australia 87 (1): 19-28.

[PP07] Pandey, R. P. & P. M. Padhye. 2007. Studies on phytodiversity of Arid Machia Safari Park-Kailana in Jodhpur (Rajasthan). Bulletin of the Botanical Survey of India 49 (1-4): 15-78.

[PT98] Panitsa, M., & D. Tzanoudakis. 1998. Contribution to the study of the Greek flora: Flora and vegetation of the E Aegean islands Agathonisi and Pharmakonisi. Willdenowia 28: 95-116.

[PL04] Pohl, G., & I. Lenski. 2004. Zur Verbreitung und Vergesellschaftung von Pennisetum orientale Rich. in Nordeuböa (Griechenland) (Poaceae, Paniceae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 83 (2): 209-223.

[WM09] Wang, H., M. J. Moore, P. S. Soltis, C. D. Bell, S. F. Brockington, R. Alexandre, C. C. Davis, M. Latvis, S. R. Manchester & D. E. Soltis. 2009. Rosid radiation and the rapid rise of angiosperm-dominated forests. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 106 (10): 3853-3858.

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