Plant Image
Coconino NF west of FR618 - John Kava

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Polygala rusbyi - Rusby's milkwort

Other Common Names: ruby polygala
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Polygalaceae

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Coconino NF west of FR618
John Kava
Coconino NF west of FR618
John Kava
Plant - summer
Coconino NF west of FR618
John Kava
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: Herbaceous perennial, sometimes becoming somewhat shrubby, stems few, 2 to 6 inches tall or less, relatively stout, herbage bearing long, soft, straight hairs.
Identification notes: Plant is slightly woody at the base. Stems and leaves bearing long, soft, straight hairs. Branches not bearing spines. Flowers rose-purple. Keel petals have prominent ridge ending in a cone or cylinder-shape with a narrow tip, upper petals purple.
Height: 2 to 6 inches


Habitat Description: Desert grasslands, chaparral and juniper woodlands.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3200 - 5000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Rose-purple     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Apr - Jul
Description: Petals 3, 2 wing petals and 1 keel, keel petal with a very stout, blunt yellow beak, stamens 8 and united. Sepals 5, hairy, outer with a small sac at the base. Flowers borne in terminal or lateral elongated clusters, maturing from the bottom upwards.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Stems 2 to 6 inches tall, erect or ascending, slightly woody at the base bearing long, soft, straight hairs. Leaves many, ovate to ovate-oblong, 1/16 to 1/2 inch wide, 1/4 to 3/4 inch long.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Capsule
Fruit Notes: Capsules broadly ovate with 2 cells notched, surfaces nearly smooth.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Nov 21, 2021
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