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Flower spike
- John Kava

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Polygala barbeyana - blue milkwort

Synonyms: Polygala longa, Polygala racemosa, Polygala reducta, Polygala tenuiloba
Other Common Names: slenderlobe milkwort
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Polygalaceae

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Flower spike
John Kava
John Kava
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual or perennial   Similar Species: Polygala obscura
General Desc: Small, upright, airy subshrub with very narrow leaves running sparsely up the stems. Small, purple flowers are found in elongated clusters at the tops of the stems. Ascending, stiff, crowded stems; stems densely leafy, flexuous and densely hairy.
Identification notes: Narrower leaves than P. obscura and seed capsules are only hairy at the margins, whereas the seed capsules of P. obscura are covered with velvety hairs. Base is somewhat woody and does not die down each year.
Height: To 2 feet


Habitat Description: Found on the banks of arroyos and rocky hillsides.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral
Elevation: 3000 - 5000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Purple     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: Flowers have 2 petal-like lateral bracts (sepals) and a tubular, dorsally-cleft, central keel of fused petals. Flowers are on spike-like but short branched stems.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The leaves are green, alternate and very narrow. The stems are green and upright.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Oval, about a 1/2 inch long, finely veined (veins in the form of a network).

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
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Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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