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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Polygala obscura - velvetseed milkwort

Synonyms: Polygala orthotrica, Polygala puberula
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Polygalaceae

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Desert Botanical Gardens:
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: A sub-shrub with numerous upright, green stems.
Identification notes: Keel petal without a conical or cylindric beak; upper petals are purplish; plant woody towards the base with numerous stems.
Height: 6 to 12 inches


Habitat Description: Grows at mid-elevations on south facing slopes in sandy or rocky soils.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Montane Conifer Forest
Elevation: 3500 - 6500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Purplish-pink     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Jun - Sep
Description: The flower is similar to that of the legumes. In consists of five sepals with the lower two joining to form a yellow tinted keel.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Narrow     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: The leaves are green, alternate, and broadly linear to narrowly lanceolate.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Light green   
Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Fruit is thin, notched, and flattened.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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