Galega officinalis L. - Goat.s rue, medicinal galega.

Taxonomic position.

Family Leguminosae Endl., genus Galega L.

Biology and morphology.

Perennial with stems erect, branched, 80-150 cm tall and very leafy. Tap-rooted without root shoots. Leaves imparipinnate 15 cm long with 5-10 pairs of elongated leaflets, 1-4 cm long. Inflorescence is apical multi-flowered raceme up to 25 cm long. Flowers light blue or whitish. Pods glabrous, straight, turned upwards. Cross-pollinated. Blossoms in June and seeds ripen in August-September. 2n=16.


West Europe, South Europe (Mediterranean Seashore), Asia Minor, South-West Asia (Iran).


Mesophyte. Prefers riversides and wet meadows. Tolerates saline soils. In highlands it grows as high as 1600 m above sea-level.

Utilization and economic value.

Valuable medicinal herb. Has potential as a natural fertilizer on saline soils. Fodder use is restricted due to high content of galegin alkaloid in herbage which can cause intoxication of animals. Improves soil structure and fertility.

Reference citations:

Galushko, A.I. 1980. Flora of Northern Caucasus. Rostov-na-Donu. V. 2: 350. (In Russian)
Grossheim, A.A. 1952. Genus Galega. Flora of the Caucasus. Moscow-Leningrad: AN USSR. V. 5: 234-235. (In Russian)
Komarov, V.L., ed. 1945. Flora of the USSR. Genus Galega. Moscow-Leningrad: AN USSR. V. 11: 303-304. (In Russian)
Kolakovskiy, A.L. 1958. Flora of Abhasiya. Tbilisi. V. 3: 292. (In Russian)
Medvedev P.F., Smetannikova A.I. 1981. Forage plants of the European part of the USSR. Leningrad: Colos. 335 pp. (In Russian)
Phedorov, A.A., ed. 1987. Flora of the European part of the USSR. V. 6: 254. (In Russian)
Uteush U.A. 1991. New perspective fodder crops. Kiev: Naukova dumka. 192 pp. (In Russian)

© Dzyubenko N.I., Dzyubenko E.A.


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