Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.

POLYGALACEAE

MILKWORT FAMILY

Thomas L. Wendt

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, vine, some non-green, dependent on fungi for nutrition; hairs unbranched
Leaves simple, generally alternate (rarely opposite or whorled); veins pinnate; margin generally ± entire; stipules generally 0
Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or panicle
Flower bisexual, generally bilateral (appearing ± pea-flower-like) or ± radial; sepals 5, free or fused, lateral (inner) pair often larger and petal-like (wings); petals 5 or 3, individually fused to stamen tube, ± similar or different with 1 lower keel petal, 2 strap-like upper petals, and 0 or 2 small lateral petals; stamens 3–10, ± fused, tube open on upper side; ovary chambers 1–8, ovule 1 per chamber, style 1 or 0
Fruit: capsule, drupe, or nut, sometimes winged
Seed often with aril
Genera in family: 18 genera, 800 species: especially tropical, subtropical; very few cultivated
Reference: [Blake 1924 N Amer Fl 25:305–379]

POLYGALA

MILKWORT

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, vine; roots generally with wintergreen odor
Inflorescence: raceme or spike, sometimes grouped and panicle-like
Flower bilateral; lateral 2 sepals enlarged as wings; petals 3 or 5, keel petal often with cylindric beak or fringed crest at tip; stamens 6–8, anthers dehiscent at tip, appearing 1-chambered; nectary disk or gland present; ovary chambers 2, stigma 2-lobed
Fruit: capsule
Seed fusiform or ovoid, black, generally hairy, generally with prominent white aril on one end
Species in genus: ± 500 species: tropical, temp
Etymology: (Greek: much milk, some Eur species said to increase milk flow in cows)
Reference: [Wendt 1979 J Arnold Arbor 60:504–514]

Native

P. acanthoclada A. Gray

Subshrub, shrub; hairs spreading
Stem weak and sprawling to erect, generally not highly branched, < 10 dm; twig hairs dense, white
Leaf 5–25 mm, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic or obovate, hairy
Inflorescence thorn-tipped; flowers 1–15; pedicels 1.5–5.8 mm, hairy
Flower 3–5.3 mm; outer sepals hairy, wings cream; beak of keel-petal 0 or minute
Fruit 4–6 mm
Chromosomes: n=9
Ecology: Desert scrub, Joshua-tree or pinyon/juniper woodlands, often loose, sandy or gravelly soils
Elevation: 900–1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: Mojave Desert (Eagle, New York mtns, Lucerne Valley)
Distribution outside California: to s Utah, Arizona
Flowering time: May–Aug
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for POLYGALA%20acanthoclada being generated
 
N.B. The distribution depicted here differs from that given in The Jepson Manual (1993)
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Polygala acanthoclada
Retrieve dichotomous key for Polygala
Retrieve multiple-entry key (MEKA) for Polygala
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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