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Polygala alba Nutt.
Synonym(s): Polygala alba var. suspecta
USDA Symbol: POAL4
USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
, WY Canada: SK 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:
PropagationPropagation Material: Seeds
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
- Austin, TX
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0679
Collected Jul 18, 1992 in Bandera County by Harry CliffeNPSOT 0511
Collected Apr 11, 1992 in Kendall County by Lottie MillsapsNPSOT 0365
Collected May 2, 1993 in Comal County by Mary Beth WhiteNPSOT 0286
Collected Aug. 16, 1992 in Kendall County by Kristina Coates
Record Last Modified: 2008-07-30
Research By: NPC