Curtiss' Milkwort - Appalachian Milkwort
Polygala curtissii A. Gray

Polygalaceae (Candy Root) Family

This is a herbaceous annual which can reach heights of 1.5 foot or more. The stems are usually branched. Its preferred habitat is on well drained open woods and borders.

The leaves are alternate on the stem and are usually about 0.8 inches. Each leaf can be as wide as 0.16 inch, near linear, no teeth and no lobes.

The flowers are irregular in shape; colors are purple or pink. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into early fall. Each flower is a cylindrical, terminal head about 0.4 inches wide and almost 1 inch long. Open flowers and buds are at the tip of the flowering stem. The entire length of a flower spike from beginning to end may be about 1/2 inch. The flower heads, consist of many buds, will appear yellowish-green at the top before turning to a darker shade; individual flowers typical of the Polygalas will have 2 of the 5 sepals extending laterally like petals and the others are joined.

Fruit is a capsule, sometimes winged. It contains 2 seeds which are usually black, hairy and tipped with a large white aril.

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