Polygala setacea


Fl. Bor.-Amer. 2: 52. 1803.

Common names: Coastal-plain or scale-leaf milkwort
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 10.

Herbs annual or short-lived perennial, usually single-stemmed, sometimes 2 or 3 stems near base, 1–5 dm, usually branched distally; from taproot or, when perennial, sometimes with slender taprootlike caudex with persistent stem base. Stems erect, glabrous. Leaves alter­nate; sessile; blade subulate, squamiform, 0.5–1.6(–2) × 0.3–0.7 mm, base obtuse, apex acute, surfaces glabrous. Racemes cylindric, 0.4–3.5 × 0.3–0.5 cm; peduncle 0.1–0.5 cm; bracts deciduous, lanceolate. Pedicels 0.2–0.5 mm, glabrous. Flowers usually white, sometimes pinkish tinged, 1.8–2.7 mm; sepals ovate to lanceolate-ovate, 0.6–1(–1.5) mm; wings elliptic to obovate, 1.5–2.5 × 0.6–1.1 mm, apex usually obtuse to bluntly rounded, rarely acute, often minutely apiculate or cuspidate; keel 1.5–2.2 mm, crest 2-parted, with 2or 3 lobes on each side. Capsules ovoid to ellipsoid, 1.7–2.2 × 1.2–1.5 mm, margins not winged. Seeds 0.8–1.2 mm, pubescent; aril vestigial.

Phenology: Flowering year-round.
Habitat: Moist to somewhat dry flatwoods, pine-palmetto woodlands, margins of seepage bogs.
Elevation: 0–100 m.


The protologue description of Polygala setacea with “in Carolina septentrionali” is the likely source of later reports of the species occurring in the Carolinas, (for example, J. K. Small 1933; R. W. Long and O. Lakela 1971; R. K. Godfrey and J. W. Wooten 1981). There are no known specimens from either of the Carolinas; the locality reported by Michaux may be erroneous. Small reported Polygala setacea also from Mississippi; no supporting specimens are known. The presence of this species in Mississippi or either of the Carolinas would represent a disjunction from the range documented by known vouchers.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Polygala setacea"
J. Richard Abbott +
Michaux +
Coastal-plain or scale-leaf milkwort +
Fla. +  and Ga. +
0–100 m. +
Moist to somewhat dry flatwoods, pine-palmetto woodlands, margins of seepage bogs. +
Flowering year-round. +
Fl. Bor.-Amer. +
Polygala setacea +
Polygala +
species +