Polygala sanguinea L.
Family - Polygalaceae
Stems - To +40cm tall, herbaceous, from branching roots, glabrous, erect, simple or branching above, carinate to 4-angled near apex.
Leaves - Alternate, linear to linear-elliptic, sessile or very short-petiolate (petiole to -1mm), glabrous, entire, to 3cm long, 2-5mm broad.
Inflorescence - Terminal compact raceme to 2cm tall(long), 1cm in diameter. Pedicels to 1mm long.
Flowers - Petals 3, united into a tube, pinkish to whitish or greenish. Stamens 8, slightly exserted beyond corolla, minute, connate and united with corolla tube. Anthers yellow. Style green, 1mm long, glabrous. Ovary superior, green, 2-locular. Sepals 5, the inner 2 enlarged and colored like the petals, to 5mm long, 3mm broad, with green midvein.
Flowering - May - October.
Habitat - Prairies, meadows, fields, glades.
Origin - Native to U.S.
Other info. - This is a common
plant in prairies and it is found throughout most of Missouri. The plant
is unmistakable in the field. The flowers are irregular and the noticeable
colorful portion is actually the enlarged sepals.
Photographs taken at Taberville Prairie, MO., 6-7-03, and at Bethel Prairie, MO., 7-4-03.