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Rattlepod Milkwort
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Rattlepod Milkwort
P Native Photo: Nidhan Singh
Common name: Rattlepod Milkwort
Botanical name: Polygala crotalarioides    Family: Polygalaceae (Milkwort family)
Synonyms: Polygala ardisioides, Polygala capitata, Polygala umbrosa

Rattlepod Milkwort is a perennial herb which is hairy all over with long erect and short curved hairs, about 20 cm tall. Leaves are obovate-elliptic, blunt, 1.0-4.3 cm long, 2-18 mm broad. Flowers are borne in lateral racemes, rarely at branch-ends, shorter than leaves, dense, 1.3-1.8 cm long. Petals are 3, free, purple-red or white and purple striate;Lateral petals are shorter than keel; keel 4-5 mm, crest 2-3 mm. Sepals are persistent; outer sepals very unequal, upper twice as large as the lower ones; inner sepals obovate-elliptic, 7 mm long, 3.5-4 mm broad. Bracts are persistent, equalling the flower-stalk. Capsules are round, notched, 4 mm long, 4-4.25 mm broad, hairless, wing 0.5 mm, fringed with hairs. Rattlepod Milkwort is found in the Himalaya, from Kashmir to Sikkim, India, Burma, Thailand, Indo-China, China, at altitudes of 2100-3000 m. Flowering: June-July.

Identification credit: Nidhan Singh Photographed in Chakrata, Uttrakhand.

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