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Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Polygala scoparioides - broom milkwort

Plant Form: Forb

Family: Polygalaceae

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Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Patrick Alexander @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Perennial
General Desc: The plants are broom-like.
Identification notes: Stems with fine short hairs. Capsule narrowly winged. Flowers white or whitish; keel petal with a conspicuous, fringed crest.
Height: To 1 foot


Habitat Description: This wildflower grows on rocky flats and slopes in desert grasslands and mountain foothills.
Plant Communities: Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 3500 - 5000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Greenish-white, purplish     Shape: Irregular in elongated clusters     Tubular: Y     Flowering Period: Mar - Oct
Description: The small flowers are in narrow, spike-like clusters. The individual flowers have 2 solid white or green- to purple-striped wings (petal-like lateral sepals), a dorsally-cleft floral tube composed of 3 fused petals, and a keel with a fringed crest.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: 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 many leaves are small, 1-1/4 to 4 inches long and less than 1/3 inch wide, linear to needle-like in shape with a pointed tip. The numerous slender green stems are 2 to 8 inches tall and covered with fine hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Type: Capsule
Seed Notes: The flowers are followed by oblong, 2-celled, 2-seeded, thin-walled seed capsules with a single narrow wing on the top side.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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