Milkwort (Polygala vulgaris) might not have the most endearing name. Still, it’s one of the stars of the early-fall summer show in Europe.
Milkworts are perennial herbaceous plants that have a long history as medicinals. Common milkwort is a plant of the Polygala genus in the Polygalaceae family.
It contains a total of 22 accepted species. In its areas of origin, milkwort can be found in hummocks, riverbanks, pastures, and meadows.
Milkworts are small plants that are only 4 to 10 inches tall. It produces numerous long, smooth stems emerging from a basal rosette.
The flowers are usually dark-blue to light-blue, but they can also be pink, purple, and white. The flowers have small petals surrounded by a pair of flat-top sepals that look like petals.
The entire flower is reminiscent of a pea flower with tubular upper petals and fused keel. Still, it isn’t related to the family. The thin lanceolate leaves are alternately arranged on the stem and usually disappear from the lower plant during the flowering period.