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a family of dicotyledonous plants. Members are grasses, shrubs, lianas, and less often small trees. The leaves are entire, are usually alternate, and lack stipules. The flowers are monoecious, more or less irregular, and gathered into racemose, spicate, or paniculate inflorescences. There are five sepals, of which the two side ones are usually larger than the others and are petal-like; there are usually three developed petals. There are eight stamens, rarely less; they are usually accreted with filaments. The fruit is usually a boll. There are approximately 14 genera (about 900 species) found almost everywhere except New Zealand, Polynesia, and the arctic. Only the Polygala species grow in the USSR. Some plants of the Polygalaceae family are used as medicine, food, or ornamentals.
REFERENCESTakhtadzhian, A.L. Sistema i filogeniia tsvetkovykh rastenii. Moscow-Leningrad, 1966.
Hutchinson, J. The Genera of Flowering Plants, vol. 2. Oxford, 1967.