Polygala polygama Walter - Racemed Milkwort

Polygala polygama plant

Family - Polygalaceae

Stems:

Polygala polygama stem

Leaves:

Polygala polygama leaves

Inflorescence:

Polygala polygama inflorescence

Flowers:

Polygala polygama flower

Flowering - April - June.

Habitat - Sandhills, flatwoods, dry hammocks.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This species can be found mainly in the southern half of Alabama. The plant is easy to identify becasue of its small, alternate leaves, open racemes of pink flowers, and lacerate corolla.
The plant has cleistogamous flowers at its base.
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 polygama derives from the Greek "poly" meaning "many" and "gamy" meaning "marriage, reproduction" referring to the various combinations of reproductive structures in the flowers.

Alabama Distribution:

Polygala polygama map

Photographs taken off Macon County Road 43, 5-14-05.


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