Seneca Snakeroot, Polygala senega
Polygalaceae or Milkwort Family

Plant in habitat

Low plant, about a foot tall, single-stalked. Leaves lance-shaped, not opposite each other, largest ones near the top of the plant. Leaves and stalk often turning red in sunniest locations. Flowers very small, in a dense spike. Individual flowers white, peculiarly shaped. Outer portions are petal-like sepals, surrounding inner parts, including petals. Petals and sepals both white. Blooms in mid-spring.

Charming native ofr dry woods and rocky slopes. In Wildwood rare, on the cedar glades of the eastern slope.

Distinctive; the small size, dense whtie spike, and peculiar flower shape identify this plant easily.

The genus name "Polygala" means "much milk" and it was believed that cows that ate plants in this genus would give more milk.

Inflorescence   Flower

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