Polygala alba Nutt.
Polygalaceae (Milkwort Family)
Synonym(s): Polygala alba var. suspecta
USDA Symbol: POAL4
Numerous slender, erect stems, each topped by tiny, white, bilaterally symmetrical flowers in a narrowly cone-shaped raceme.
Polygala comes from a Greek word meaning “much milk”; some species were thought to stimulate the flow of milk in cattle and nursing mothers.
From the Image Gallery
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
DistributionUSA: AR , AZ , CO , KS , MT , ND , NE , NM , OK , SD , TX , WY
Native Distribution: Eastern Montana south to eastern Colorado, New Mexico, and central Arizona, east to Texas, and north through much of the Great Plains to Minnesota; also in Mexico.
Native Habitat: Ditches, Ravines, Depressions, Thickets
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Limestone-based, Caliche type
Conditions Comments: Propagate by seed. Space 6 apart.Plant has a long bloom periodand it responds well to fertilizer and water.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Perennial garden, Rock gardens, Shortgrass meadow
Use Medicinal: Root scraped, then boiled in water, liquid poured into aching ears by Sioux. (Weiner) Dried powdered root sold in pharmacies as senega or senegin and is used for respiratory ailments.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0286 Collected Aug. 16, 1992 in Kendall County by Kristina Coates
NPSOT 0679 Collected Jul 18, 1992 in Bandera County by Harry Cliffe
NPSOT 0365 Collected May 2, 1993 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0511 Collected Apr 11, 1992 in Kendall County by Lottie Millsaps
BibliographyBibref 1207 - Earth Medicine, Earth Food (1990) Michael A. Weiner
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.
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Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Polygala alba in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Polygala alba in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Polygala alba
MetadataRecord Modified: 2008-07-30
Research By: NPC