Pol-i-ga-la'se-e. L. Polygal-a + aceae, fr. Gr.
milk - i. e., believed to increase lacteal secretion m female animals. Shrubs, herbs. Distinguished by bitter, acrid properties and milky roots; flowers papilionaceous; petals 3-5, more or less united; sepals 5, of which 2 anterior are lateral, larger; petaloid, forming the wings to the flowers; stamens 8, monadelphous; ovary 2-3-celled; anthers open at apex; fruit capsular; universal; bitter, acrid, tonic, stimulant; febrifuge, astringent, emetic, purgative, diuretic, sudorific, expectorant; fruit edible, saponaceous. Genus: 1. Polygala.