Little Leaf Milk Pea - Eastern Milk Pea
Galactia microphylla - (Chapman) Hall & Ward
Fabaceae (Bean) Family

Plant is trailing with multiple-stems that reach out from the base for several feet, herbaceous, branching, stiff hairs. Its preferred habitat is acid soils, dry rocky woods, ridges, hilltops, and yards. The plant is native to the U.S. Distribution is throughout in the Escambia region.

The leaves are alternate on the stem, short stems, trifoliate, with stipules. The stipules are large. Leaf form is ovate, acuminate, obliqua at the base, entire margins. Length is about 1 inch, mostly smooth, hairy on the margins. The color is dark green with evident veins.

Fruit is a capsule.


The flower corolla is pinkish purple outside and whitish within, smooth with two small white spots at the base surrounded by dark purple. The keels and wings are about 1/4 inch. Thewings are cone-like basally to the keel. The stamens are a diadelphous tube (partitioned). The styles are upcurved. The ovary is green and hairy. The standard is about 1/4 inch broad. The calyx is bilabiate, the upper lip single-lobed. The lower lip is 3-lobed. Flowers occur in July to October.

The species is easy to identify in the field because of its trailing stems and large rotund leaflets. Another species, D. ochroleucum, is similar but exceedingly rate in this area. The terminal leaflets of the latter species are not entirely rotund and the plant is more erect.

Previous Page      Return to Index      Next Page