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Galega officinalis
Galega officinalis flowers
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Fabales
Family: Fabaceae
Subfamily: Faboideae
Tribe: Loteae
Genus: Galega
Species: G. officinalis
Binomial name
Galega officinalis
L.

Galega officinalis, commonly known as goat's rue, French lilac, Italian fitch or professor-weed, is an herbaceous plant in the Faboideae subfamily. It is native to the Middle East, but it has been naturalised in Europe, western Asia, and western Pakistan. The plant has been extensively cultivated as a forage crop, an ornamental, a bee plant and as green manure.[1] Its name derives from gale (milk) and ega (to bring on), as Galega has been used as a galactogogue in small domestic animals (hence the name "Goat's rue"). Galega bicolor is a synonym. It is a hardy perennial that blooms in the summer months.

Galega is used as a food plant by the larva of Coleophora vicinella, a species of moth.

Contents

Distribution

In 1891, goat's rue was introduced to Cache County, Utah, for use as a forage crop. It escaped cultivation and is now a weed and agricultural pest, though it is still confined to that county. As a result it has been placed on the Federal Noxious Weed List in the United States. It was collected in Colorado, Connecticut and New York prior to the 1930s, and in Maine and Pennsylvania in the 1960s, but no more collections have been made in these areas since and the populations are presumed to have died out. It has also been found in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and New Zealand.[1]

Uses

Galega officinalis has been known since the Middle Ages for relieving the symptoms of diabetes mellitus. Upon analysis, it turned out to contain guanidine, a substance that decreases blood sugar by decreasing insulin resistance.

Chemical derivatives from the biguanide class of medication include metformin (Glucophage, commonly prescribed for diabetics) and the older, withdrawn agent phenformin.

Goat's Rue is also cited by the SAS Survival Guide by John "Lofty" Wiseman, as having a sedative effect on fish. The roots and flowers are the most potent, but the most common method is to simply crush the entire plant and throw into a body of water with restricted flow. The fish that then float to the top are safe to consume.

Also the plant is used to increase lactation.

References

Witters LA. The blooming of the French lilac. J Clin Invest 2001;108:1105–1107. DOI 10.1172/JCI200114178.

External links

Galega officinalis - from Thomé
Flora von Deutschland, Österreich und der Schweiz 1885

Wikispecies

Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies

Galega officinalis

Taxonavigation

Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Rosids
Cladus: Eurosids I
Ordo: Fabales
Familia: Fabaceae
Subfamilia: Faboideae
Tribus: Galegeae
Genus: Galega
Species: Galega officinalis

Name

Galega officinalis L.

Vernacular name

Українська: Козлятник лікарський

References

  • Species Plantarum 2:714. 1753
  • USDA, ARS, National Genetic Resources Program. Germplasm Resources Information Network - (GRIN) [Data from 07-Oct-06]. 70971
Wikimedia Commons For more multimedia, look at Galega officinalis on Wikimedia Commons.







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