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White Milkwort

Polygala alba

Other common name(s):

Family:

Polygalaceae (Milkwort Family)

Plant Ecoregion Distribution Map

Central Great Plains, Chihuahuan Deserts, Cross Timbers, East Central Texas Plains, Edwards Plateau, Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes, High Plains, Southern Texas Plains, Southwestern Tablelands, Texas Blackland Prairies
Broken Red Plains, Limestone Plains
Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands, Chihuahuan Montane Woodlands, Low Mountains and Bajadas, Stockton Plateau
Carbonate Cross Timbers, Eastern Cross Timbers, Grand Prairie, Limestone Cut Plain, Western Cross Timbers
Southern Post Oak Savanna
Balcones Canyonlands, Edwards Plateau Woodland, Llano Uplift, Semiarid Edwards Plateau
Southern Subhumid Gulf Coastal Prairies
Arid Llano Estacado, Canadian/Cimarron High Plains, Llano Estacado, Rolling Sand Plains
Rio Grande Floodplain and Terraces, Texas-Tamaulipan Thornscrub
Canadian/Cimarron Breaks, Caprock Canyons Badlands Breaks, Flat Tablelands and Valleys, Semiarid Canadian Breaks
Floodplains and Low Terraces1, Northern Blackland Prairie, Southern Blackland Prairie

Plant Characteristics

Growth Form

Herbaceous

Height

0.5
to
1
ft.

Spread

1
to
2
ft.

Leaf Retention

Deciduous

Lifespan

Perennial

Habitat and Care Requirements

Soil Type(s)

Sand, Loam, Clay, Calcareous

Light Requirement

Sun, Part Shade

Water Requirement

Low

Native Habitat

Grassland

Bloom and Attraction

Bloom Color

White

Bloom Season

Spring, Summer, Fall

Seasonal Interest

Nectar, Pollen

Wildlife Benefit

Nectar Insects, Bees

Maintenance

Little maintenance required. Drought tolerant due to a large, tuberous root. Grows in a variety of soils. Works well in perennial gardens, rock gardens and shortgrass meadows. High deer resistance. Propagation: Seeds.

Comments

Blooms April-November. Many slender, mostly unbranched stems, each topped with a spike of small white flowers with yellow-green centers. Leaves are narrow, but a little broader at the base. Attracts nectar insects.
Previous Scientific Name(s): Synonym(s): Polygala alba var. suspecta

References

1) Griffith, Bryce, Omernick & Rodgers (2007). Ecoregions of Texas. 2) Wasowski and Wasowski, Native Texas Plants Landscaping Region by Region, 1991, pg. 204. 3) https://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=POAL4. 4) https://portal.torcherbaria.org/portal/taxa/index.php?taxon=Polygala+alba&formsubmit=Search+Terms. 5) http://bonap.net/TDC/Image/Map?taxonType=Species&taxonId=19538&locationType=County&mapType=Normal. 6) https://www.itis.gov/servlet/SingleRpt/SingleRpt?search_topic=TSN&search_value=29323#null, 7) https://prairiepollination.ca/plante-plant/polygale_seneca-seneca_snakeroot/