Polygala arillata var. ovata Gagnepain.
Shrubs or small trees, 1-5 m tall. Branchlets sometimes weakly ridged, densely pubescent; terminal buds densely yellow-brown felted-hairy. Petiole ca. 1 cm, pubescent; leaf blade green, elliptic or oblong-elliptic to oblong-lanceolate, 6.5-14 × 2-2.5 cm, papery, both surfaces sparsely pubescent especially on veins, glabrescent, midvein raised abaxially, depressed adaxially, lateral veins 5 or 6 pairs, anastomosing near margin, veinlets reticulate, evident, base cuneate or obtuse, margin entire, ciliate, apex acuminate. Racemes opposite to leaves, drooping, densely pubescent, 7-10 cm, to 25(-30) cm at fruiting. Pedicel ca. 3 mm, pubescent; bract 1, basal, triangular-acuminate. Flowers 1.3-2 cm. Sepals 5, unequal, ciliate, caducous after anthesis; outer sepals 3, small, upper one deeply cucullate, 8-9 mm, lateral sepals ovate, ca. 5 × 3 mm, apex rounded; inner sepals 2, red-purple, petaloid, oblong-obovate, 1.5-1.8 cm, nearly at right angle between them and petals. Petals 3, connate in lower 2/3, yellow, slightly fleshy; keel longer than lateral petals, apex with multifid appendages. Stamens 8; filaments ca. 1.4 cm, lower 2/3 united, forming an open staminal sheath, adnate with petals; anthers ovoid. Disk fleshy. Ovary compressed globose, ca. 3 mm in diam., narrowly winged, ciliate; style 8-12 mm, curved toward apex, apex 2-lobed; stigma on lower lobes. Capsule purple-red at maturity, baccate, broadly reniform or slightly cordate, ca. 1 cm, ca. 1.3 cm in diam., margin winged, ciliate, apex emarginate, mucronate; carpels with concentric circles costate. Seeds brown-red to black, globose, ca. 4 mm in diam., very sparsely pubescent, truncate at hiliferous end, shiny, with large helmet-shaped, somewhat irregular, projecting strophiole. Fl. May-Oct, fr. Jun-Nov.
Forests, forest margins on mountain slopes; (700-)1000-2800(-3000) m. Anhui, Fujian, Guangxi, Guizhou, Henan, Hubei, Jiangxi, S Shaanxi, Sichuan, Xizang, Yunnan, Zhejiang [Bhutan, Cambodia, India (Darjeeling, Sikkim), Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam].
Material with ovate leaves has been separated as Polygala arillata var. ovata (in Lecomte, Fl. Indo-Chine, Suppl. 1: 231. 1939); however, leaf shape, along with other characters, is very variable in P. arillata. Thus this variety, along with P. arillata var. laevicarpa R. N. Banerjee & G. S. Giri (Candollea 42(2): 55. 1987) described from Nepalese material, does not warrant recognition.