Polygala polygama Walter - Purple Milkwort


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Polygala polygama - (image 1 of 5)



Family: Polygalaceae


Sandy oak savanna, sandy open ground. Dry, gravelly hill prairies.


In oak savanna with Andropogon scoparius, Aristida purpurascens, Asclepias tuberosa, Euphorbia corollata, Koeleria cristata, Liatris aspera, Lupinus perennis occidentalis, Quercus velutina, Solidago nemoralis, Solidago speciosa, Tradescantia ohiensis.


Most states east of the Rockies.


Herbaceous perennial or biennial to 8". Leaves alternate, narrow, elliptic to oblong. Stems several to numerous. Flowers rose-colored, in loose racemes, at least the lower pedicels 1mm or more long; sepals 5, the laterals wing-like; petals 3, forming a tube.


Flowers late May to early August

Wetland indicator: Facultative

In addition to the aerial flowers, this plant produced numerous pale cleistogamous flowers on weak stems below ground. The variety 'obtusata' occurs in the Chicago area and is most likely the plant pictured here.


Niering, W. A. 1979. The Audubon society field guide to North American wildflowers: eastern region.
Knopf/Random House, New York.


Swink, F. and G. Wilhelm. 1994. Plants of the Chicago Region.
Indiana Academy of Science. The Morton Arboretum. Lisle, Illinois.




 Michael Hough 2005