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Polygala acanthoclada
THORNY MILKWORT

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolygalaceaeView Description 

Common Name: MILKWORT FAMILY
Habit: [Annual] perennial herb, subshrub, shrub [tree, vine]; hairs unbranched. Leaf: simple, generally alternate (opposite or whorled); veins pinnate; margin generally +- entire; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or panicle. Flower: bisexual, generally bilateral and +- pea-flower-like [or +- radial]; sepals 5, fused or not, lateral or inner pair generally larger and petal-like (called wings); petals 5[3], fused to stamen tube, [+- similar or] different with 1 lower keel petal, 2 strap-like upper petals, and 2[0] lateral petals; stamens 3--10, +- fused, tube open at top; ovary chambers 1--8 with 1 ovule each, style 1 or 0. Fruit: capsule [drupe or nut; occasionally winged]. Seed: often with aril.
Genera In Family: 20 genera, 1000 species: especially tropics, subtropics few cultivated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Thomas L. Wendt
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PolygalaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MILKWORT
Habit: Root odor generally wintergreen. Inflorescence: raceme or spike, occasionally grouped and panicle-like; cleistogamous flowers occasionally solitary. Flower: bilateral; lateral 2 sepals enlarged; petals 3 or 5, keel petal generally with cylindric beak or fringed crest at tip; stamens 6--8, anthers dehiscent at tip, appearing 1-chambered; with nectary disk or gland; ovary chambers 2, stigma 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule. Seed: fusiform or ovoid, black, generally hairy, generally with prominent white aril on 1 end.
Species In Genus: +- 500 species: tropics, temperate. Etymology: (Greek: much milk, some European species said to increase milk in cows)

Polygala acanthoclada A. Gray
NATIVE
Habit: Subshrub, shrub; hairs spreading. Stem: sprawling to erect, < 10 dm, twigs densely hairy, white. Leaf: 5--25 mm, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic or obovate, hairy. Inflorescence: thorn-tipped; flowers 1--15; pedicel 1.5--5.8 mm, hairy. Flower: 3--5.3 mm; outer sepals hairy, wings cream; keel petal beak 0 or minute. Fruit: 4--6 mm including stalk. Seed: 2--2.5 mm including hairs; aril glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Desert scrub, Joshua-tree or pinyon/juniper woodland, generally in loose, sandy or gravelly soil; Elevation: 945--1830 m. Bioregional Distribution: s DMoj (Lucerne Valley), DMtns (Eagle, New York mtns); Distribution Outside California: to southern Utah, Arizona. Flowering Time: May--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Thomas L. Wendt
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Polygala
Next taxon: Polygala californica

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botanical illustration including Polygala acanthoclada

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Thomas L. Wendt 2016. Polygala acanthoclada, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=39031, accessed on December 09, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on December 09, 2016.


Polygala acanthoclada
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© 2010 James M. Andre
Polygala acanthoclada
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© 2012 Keir Morse
Polygala acanthoclada
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© 2005 Aaron Schusteff
Polygala acanthoclada
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© 2012 Aaron Schusteff
Polygala acanthoclada
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© 2002 Gary A. Monroe
Polygala acanthoclada
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© 2012 Keir Morse

More photos of Polygala acanthoclada in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Polygala acanthoclada:
s DMoj (Lucerne Valley), DMtns (Eagle, New York mtns);
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.