Showy Milkwort (Polygala violacea)

Common names:
Give a thumbs up Showy Milkwort
Give a thumbs up Large-flower Polygala
Give a thumbs up Violet Milkwort

General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Herb/Forb
Life cycle: Annual
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 7a -17.8 °C (0 °F) to -15 °C (5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 11
Plant Height: to 12 inches
Plant Spread: 6 - 8 inches
Leaves: Other: evergreen to deciduous depending on zone
Fruit: Edible to birds
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: Lavender
Pink
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Summer
Late summer or early fall
Underground structures: Taproot
Suitable Locations: Xeriscapic
Uses: Groundcover
Will Naturalize
Suitable as Annual
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Butterflies
Resistances: Humidity tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Provide light
Sow in situ
Containers: Suitable in 1 gallon
Needs excellent drainage in pots

Photo courtesy of Brian Ahern

Photo gallery:

Comments:
Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Sep 4, 2012 8:02 PM

Showy milkwort occurs in the southeastern U.S. from the Carolinas to Louisiana south all the way through the Fl. Keys, the Caribbean Islands & northern South America.
This is a diminutive plant & when not in bloom can easily be overlooked, but when it's blooming the color pops right out at you.
Grows easily in poor soils & is extremely drought tolerant. Blooms year round in the more tropical areas of its range.

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Posted by plantladylin (Florida - Zone 9b) on Feb 15, 2013 4:04 PM

Polygala violacea is one of about 23 species of Milkwort found in Florida, most occurring in very compact and distinctive clusters with irregular flowers. The genus name Polygala means "Much Milk" and refers to the plant's herbal properties, which are said to improve lactation in nursing mothers.

Showy Milkwort is a perennial, delicate native wildflower here in Florida with blooms that are similar in appearance to a small orchid. The 3" to 9" long flower spike is composed of small pink flowers with a yellow lip. The oval petals on each side resemble little ears.

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