Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Polygala incarnata L.
- Family: Milkwort (Polygalaceae)
- Flowering: June-July
- Field Marks: This milkwort has pink to reddish pink flowers and linear, rather fleshy leaves.
- Habitat: Sand hills, high pinelands, moist to dry flatwoods, roadsides, ditches, old fields,
savannas, bogs, thickets.
- Habit: Annual herb with slender, fibrous roots.
- Stems: Upright, very slender, branched or unbranched, smooth, glaucous, up to 1 1/2 feet tall.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, rather fleshy, linear, pointed at the tip, toothless, smooth, glaucous,
up to 3/4 inch long, lower leaves often scale-like and appressed to the stem.
- Flowers: Several, crowded into elongated terminal spikes or racemes; racemes up to 2 1/2
inches long, up to 3/4 inch wide; individual flower stalks very short or absent.
- Sepals: 5, of different sizes, 2 of them petal-like, pink, up to 1/8 inch long.
- Petals: United to form a reddish pink tube, the tube fringed, up to 1/3 inch long.
- Stamens: 8, united into a tube that is attached to the corolla.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules ovoid to oblongoid, up to 1/5 inch long; seeds oval, black, white-hairy, up to
1/10 inch long.
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