Polygala mariana P. Miller - Maryland Milkwort

Polygala mariana plant

Family - Polygalaceae

Stems:

Polygala mariana stem

Leaves:

Polygala mariana leaves

Inflorescence:

Polygala mariana inflorescenceNote the naked inflorescence rachis.

Flowers:

Polygala mariana flowers

Flowering - June - October.

Habitat - Open wet areas, ditches, pine savannahs.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This species is scattered mainly throughout southern Alabama. The plant can be identified by its small, alternate leaves, angled stems, naked inflorescence rachises, and tight clusters of flowers.
The genus name Polygala derives from the Greek "poly" meaning "much" or "many" and "gala" meaning "milk". This name was given by Dioscorides to a low shrub which was believed to improve lactation.
The species epithet mariana means "of Maryland" as the species occurs there also.

Alabama Distribution:

Polygala mariana map

Photographs taken off Hwy 431, Russell County, AL., 6-25-06.


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