Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Polygala nana (Michx.) DC.
- Family: Milkwort (Polygalaceae)
- Flowering: March-October
- Field Marks: This milkwort is recognized by its yellow flowers in solitary racemes and a
up to 6 inches long.
- Habitat: Low pinelands, flatwoods, wet prairies, bogs, sand ditches, pine savannas, roadsides,
- Habit: Annual, biennial, or short-lived perennial.
- Stems: Upright, solitary, smooth, up to 6 inches long.
- Leaves: Of 2 types: basal leaves in a rosette, spatulate, more or less succulent, smooth, up to
2 1/2 inches long, up to 1 inch wide; leaves on the stem few, alternate, oblanceolate, up to 2
- Flowers: Several in compact racemes; racemes up to 1 3/4 inches long, up to 3/4 inch wide;
individual flower stalks very short.
- Sepals: 5, of different sizes, 2 of them petal-like, lemon yellow, up to 1/3 inch long.
- Petals: 5, unequal in size, united below, lemon yellow.
- Stamens: 8, united into a tube that is attached to the corolla.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Capsules rounded and notched at the tip; seeds black, elliptic to oblong, hairy, about
1/16 inch long.
- Notes: This species is sometimes called candy root or bachelor's buttons.
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