Low Pinebarren Milkwort


Branching yellow blooms, adorn the green stalks reaching upward to the sun.

There are 23 Milkwort species in the genus Polygala residing in Florida wetlands. In past articles, I have written about a number of them. Recently, I came across two more species. This article is one of them and the other has been sighted but not yet photographed. Stay tuned.

The one I got is the Low Pinebarren Milkwort, Polygala racmosa, a herbaceous annual. Milkwort flowers usually come in two forms; branching flower stalks or clusters packed in cylinders. Racmosa is of the branching type.

A single erect stem grows from the center of a grounded basal rosette composed of elliptic leaves about two inches in length. Going up the stem are narrow linear leaves arranged in an alternate order. Leaves have smooth margins, are linear in shape, 1 to 2 inches long and ¼ inch wide. Leaves are close to the stem pointing upward. Overall, plant height is about two feet.

Tiny bright yellow flowers are found in clusters attached to branching flower stalks. Stalks arch upward from the stem in such a way that the height of the clusters are almost the same giving a flattop appearance.

The specimen in the picture was found in the Babcock-Webb Preserve.


Dorothy Rodwell