Polygala arillata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don, Prodr. Fl. Nepal. 199 199 1825. (Syn: Chamaebuxus arillata (Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don) Hassk.; Chamaebuxus arillata var. brachybotrys Hassk.; Chamaebuxus arillata var. robusta Hasskarl; Chamaebuxus paniculata Hassk.; Crotalaria duboisii H. Léveillé; Polygala angustifolia (Chod.) R.N. Banerjee; Polygala angustifolia var. scandens (Mukerjee) G.S. Giri & R.N. Banerjee; Polygala arillata var. angustifolia Chod.; Polygala arillata f. scandens Mukerjee; Polygala kerrii Craib; Polygala wistariifolia Chod.);
Sikkim, India (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Meghalaya, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala), Bhutan, Nepal, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Palawan, Myanmar [Burma] (Chin, Kachin, Mandalay, Sagaing), Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling, China (Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, Guizhou, Hubei, Jiangxi, S-Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan) as per Catalogue of Life;
Common name: Yellow Milkwort, Red eye, Marcha Plant • Nepali: लुइंचे फूल Luinche Phool, मर्चा Marchaa, उखु Ban Ukhu, करिमा Karimaa • Tangkhul: Mayongwon

Shrubs to 1.5 m high. Leaves to 17 x 5 cm, elliptic, acuminate at apex, acute at base; nerves to 15 pairs; petiole 1 cm long. Racemes to 10 cm long. Flowers yellow; pedicels 5 mm long; outer sepals 5 x 4 mm, ovate, obtuse; inner sepals 14 x 8 mm, oblong, emarginate; petals 14 mm long, crest dichotomous; wings decurrent at base. Capsule 8 x 14 mm long, compressed, glabrous, striate; seeds oblong 7 x 4 mm, biconvex; caruncle reddish.

Flowering and fruiting: October-December
Evergreen and shola forests
Indo-Malesia and China

Polygala arillata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don [Polygalaceae] : Attachments (3).  5 posts by 3 authors.
Name: Polygala arillata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don
Family: Polygalaceae
Habit: long shrub
Habitat: evergreen forest
Date: 18 Aug 2013
Place: Kothagiri, NIlgiris, TN
Alt.: 1900 msl
Is my id right?

Thanks for sharing.
Polygala flowers are unique in their beauty.
Interesting to see a shrub. All other Polygala members I have seen were small herbs.

Yes it is


ANAUG61 Polygala arillata : 1 post by 1 author. Attachments (2).
Thadiyandamol, Coorg
30th August 2014

Very good post …
All Polygalas observed in Maharashtra are herbs while this only one is shrub of 2-3 m height.
Very good terminal racemes are seen here with a characteristic crested keel.

Fruit/Seed from Sikkim for id : 8 posts by 5 authors. 1 image.
would be grateful if the picture below could be identified. The fruit is from a small shrub at c. 1600m in Sikkim.  I am told that it is added to the mixture locally called ‘Marcha’ used for fermentation. Have tried to get the picture from all sides. The fruit is very small.

It can be a Pittosporum sp. Not sure but…

did you have chance to photograph the plant itself?
if you did can we see it please?

Sorry, …, just got the fruit as we walked down out of the forest. The person who got it told me that its roots were much sought after for ‘Marcha’ a kind of local yeast cake used to ferment some local foods.
Here is a picture by Sangay Bhutia with bit of leaf showing at the bottom, which is not very helpful!
I then checked it out on Internet and see that it is possibly Polygala arillata (tho’ the seed in my pic looks a bit different).  But need experts here to confirm or correct.  And there is a paper from Nepal on this ‘Marcha Plant’ at https://www.scribd.com/doc/9314292/Polygala-Arillata-Marcha-Plant, which has no picture.  Have dropped the author a line and hope he responds.

i searched and found this page of illustration: it shows your fruit almost exactly but the leaf margin and shape is different from the pic above that I can surmise…

I agree with Polygala arillata as per description and illustrations.

I agree with the id Polygala arillata, too. Good identification and nice pictures, …! Thanks for sharing.

The FB response was also Polygala arillata. Wonder what its status is in India.
Seems to be endangered in Nepal as per the Taplejung paper at

Tree Polygala for id from LBG- NS DEC 13 : 2 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (4)
This small tree was standing alone in a corner in Llyods Botanical Garden, Darjeeling..the flowers attracted me and appeared like a legume flower..going closer, I realized this is not a legume but a Polygala, of which I had never seen a tree..
Please provide specific id, if I am right at the genus level.. 

Polygala arillata


TSPNOV2015-11: Images of Polygala arillata (Polygalaceae) : 5 posts by 5 authors. Attachments (5)

It is my pleasure to share few images of Polygala arillata (Polygalaceae)
Habit: Large woody shrub
Habitat: Shola forest.
Sighting: Mullaianagiri, Chikmagalur, Karnataka, about 1700 msl
Date: 24-06-2015, 30-06-2015 and 08-09-2015 

This is really a good one, espl. the 2nd pic. Apt for the Halloween season… Thanks for sharing, …

Its beautiful angel. It appears that those are real eyes.

Polygala arillata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (9) – around 700 kb each.
Location:  Nagarkot
Date: 21 August 2018
Elevation:6800 ft.
Habit : Wild 
Nepali Names : लुइंचे फूल Luinche Phool  / मर्चा Marchaa / बन उखु  Ban Ukhu / करिमा  Karimaa

large bush or a small tree for id, mm 10 24 11 2018 : 7 posts by 4 authors. Attachments (5)
This plant was seen growing outside Ernakulam WLS near Munnar, in the first week of October 2018.
I would very much appreciate help in identifying it

Could you check Polygala.

Thank you … You are right, it seems to be Polygala arillata.
Here is the link  /species/m—z/po/polygalaceae/polygala/polygala-arillata

Very distinct ! Thank you for beautiful post.

Polygala arillata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don : 3 posts by 2 authors. Attachments (8)- around 750 kb each.
Location:  Phulchoki, Lalitpur
Date:  3 July 2019
Elevation:  2524 m.
Habit : Wild 


ID help: 2 images.

As always thank you for your help.
I have two photos of a shrub taken on Phulchowki Peak in August growing at 2300m.

Polygala arillata Buch.-Ham. ex D. Don