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Polygala subspinosa
SPINY 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 subspinosa S. Watson
NATIVE
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub. Stem: generally < 2.5 dm, glabrous to short-stiff-hairy, occasionally glaucous. Leaf: 4--31 mm, obovate or elliptic, +- glabrous or with short, stiff hairs; base acuminate. Inflorescence: generally weakly thorn-tipped. Flower: 6--13 mm; sepal wings pink; keel petal beak 1--3 mm, entire or +- jagged, yellow or +- green. Fruit: 5.5--10 mm including stalk. Seed: 3.3--4.9 mm including hairs; seed body elliptic in ×-section, generally evenly hairy throughout; aril glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=18,36.
Ecology: Desert scrub, volcanic mesas; Elevation: 1350--2285 m. Bioregional Distribution: MP (Lassen Co.), SNE (Sweetwater Mtns); Distribution Outside California: to Utah, southwestern Colorado, northwestern New Mexico, northern Arizona. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Thomas L. Wendt
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Polygala intermontana
Next taxon: Polygonaceae

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botanical illustration including Polygala subspinosa

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Thomas L. Wendt 2016. Polygala subspinosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=39107, accessed on August 24, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on August 24, 2016.


Polygala subspinosa
click for enlargement
© 2005 Christopher L. Christie
Polygala subspinosa
click for enlargement
© 2005 Christopher L. Christie
Polygala subspinosa
click for enlargement
© 2005 Christopher L. Christie
Polygala subspinosa
click for enlargement
© 1998 Christopher Christie
Polygala subspinosa
click for enlargement
© 2005 Christopher L. Christie
Polygala subspinosa
click for enlargement
© 2005 Christopher L. Christie

More photos of Polygala subspinosa in CalPhotos


Geographic subdivisions for Polygala subspinosa:
MP (Lassen Co.), SNE (Sweetwater 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.