Kentucky Nature Preserves Rare Plants

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission

Racemed Milkwort
Polygala polygama
Family: Polygalaceae

Protection Status:
State Status:  T
USFWS Status: {null}

Global Rank: G5
State Rank: S2

Dry sandy pine-oak woods and openings on mountain ridgetops.

Species Description:
Erect or spreading herb, branching from the base, with narrow alternate leaves and small, pink, distinctively shaped, fringed flowers.

Flowering Period: Early May to late July.
Fruiting Period: Early June to late July.

Additional Information at NatureServe

Diagnostic Characteristics:
Loose raceme with well-spaced, distinctly pediceled, rose-purple (to white) flowers with corolla fringed ; largest sepals twice as long as wide. Stems clustered and decumbent, leaves alternate, to 7 mm wide, margins revolute and well distributed on the stem; cleistogamous flowers from base of plant.

May tolerate some timber removal if done without excessive soil disturbance (disking/chopping) and if immediate vicinity of plant is protected from debris and direct cutting etc. Exotic pest plants are a threat to this species and should be removed. Avoid creating access to the site through trail or road construction.

Global Range:
Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Ontario, south through the eastern United States to Florida, west to Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Texas.

Known Kentucky Occurrences:

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Data last updated: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
801 Teton Trail
Frankfort,KY 40601
Phone: (502) 573-2886
Fax: (502) 573-2355
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