Polygala serpyllifolia   Heath Milkwort CC DD N

Polygala serpyllifolia Polygala serpyllifolia

This is the upland or heath version of the Polygala genus (Milkwort) and it does look very similar to the lowland plant Polygala vulgaris. The lower leaves of this plant are usually opposite rather than alternate and the flower colours are often a deeper shade. Like the lowland plant P. vulgaris the flowers can be white, white tinged with colour, deep blue or mauve so flower colour isn't very useful as an identification. The problem with the defining character of this plant (opposite leaves) is that the opposite leaves are often the very last ones on the stem (all the other leaves being alternate), can have broken off leaving only opposite leaf scars but are are usually buried deep in the vegetation.

P. serpyllifolia is found throughout the British Isles and Ireland with a heavier concentration in the north and the least in the drier eastern parts around East Anglia.

Polygala serpyllifolia

Polygala serpyllifolia Heath Milkwort

Gruinard bay, Wester Ross, Scotland 25th June 2011

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Polygala serpyllifolia Heath Milkwort

LHS: Cwm Idwal, Snowdonia 7th May 2005 RHS: Gruinard bay, Wester Ross, Scotland 25th June 2011

Added on November 14th 2005, updated 17th July 2011, updated 1st July 2017

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