Etymology: Polygala: from Greek polys, "many or much," and gala, "milk," since it was thought that the presence of some of the species in a pasture increased the yield of milk
Plants: erect, annual, 4"-16" tall forb; stems widely branched
Leaves: linear to narrowly oblong, usually in whorls of 2-5
Flowers: white to green to pink, 5-parted, 1/4"-1/2" long, about half to 2/3 as wide as long, 5 petal-like sepals with the 3 inner ones small and the 2 outer ones large, wing-like; inflorescence a 1 1/2" conical to cylindrical, dense, stalked cluster (raceme) with a pointed tip; blooms July-Oct.
Habitat: moderate moisture to moist; prairies, woods; in sandy soil
Conservation Status: Native
Floristic Rating: Coefficient of Conservatism = 8, Wetland Indicator = UPL Atlas of the Wisconsin Prairie and Savanna Flora: by T.S. Cochrane & H.H. Iltis: habitat, distribution infomation / flowering and fruiting times USDA Plants Database: Federal Distribution and detailed information including photos Dan Tenaglia's The Missouri Flora: Fabulous photographs; detailed descriptions; color and leave arrangement key.