Polygala paniculata (PROSEA)

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Plant Resources of South-East Asia
List of species

Polygala paniculata L.

Protologue: Syst. Nat. ed. 10: 1154 (1759).

Vernacular names

  • Indonesia: jukut rindik, sasapuan, katumpang lemah (Sundanese)
  • Vietnam: dầu nóng.


Native to tropical America, from Mexico to Brazil; in the 17th Century introduced into central tropical Africa, Indo-Australia and the Pacific Islands, including South-East Asia, and now abundantly naturalized.


A sweetened infusion of the aerial parts is a remedy for gonorrhoea and lumbago, and the pulverized leaves may be applied to wounds.


An annual, erect, much-branched, glandulous herb, up to 50 cm tall; leaves lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, 5-20 mm × 1-4 mm, apex acute, lower leaves in pseudo-whorls; raceme axillary or terminal, 5-12 cm long, bracts and bracteoles early caducous; flowers 1.5-2 mm long, sepals lanceolate, obtuse, wings weakly 3-veined, upper petals lanceolate, whitish, often purple-tinged, keel not auriculate, with 2 bundles of about 6 appendages, filaments connate except for the uppermost part, ovary orbicular, style straight, subapically curved and widened in an asymmetrical, wide cup, upper side with a hair tuft, inner side with a stigmatic lobe; capsule a little longer than the wings, elliptical, 2 mm long, notched, not winged; seed oblong, micropilar side with a deeply 2-fid aril, black, hairy. P. paniculata occurs in waste places, plantations and fields, on different soils, avoiding dry areas, often abundant, from sea-level up to 2250 m altitude.

Selected sources


  • Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, 1948-1976. The wealth of India: a dictionary of Indian raw materials & industrial products. 11 volumes. Publications and Information Directorate, New Delhi, India.385, 951.


Rina R.P. Irwanto