Polygala paucifolia

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Fringed polygala
Gaywings taken at the Botanical Gardens at Asheville
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Fabales
Family: Polygalaceae
Genus: Polygala
Species: P. paucifolia
Binomial name
Polygala paucifolia

Polygala paucifolia, known as gaywings or fringed polygala, is a perennial plant of the family Polygalaceae.

Mature plants are 3 to 6 inches tall.[1] Stems are smooth, slender and green. Leaves are clustered at the top, appearing to be whorled, but they are not. Leaflets are oblong to lanceolate — narrow at the base with a pointed tip. Leaves have an entire margin and are thin.

Flowers are pink and white, blooming in April and May.[1]

In 2011, John Richard Abbott segregated Polygala paucifolia (fringed milkwort) from the rest of Polygala, placing it in the currently-unused genus Polygaloides.[2][3]

Gaywings on Mackinac Island, Michigan


  1. ^ a b Carman, Jack B. (2001). Wildflowers of Tennessee. Highland Rim Press. p. 163. 
  2. ^ Alan Weakly (2011) "Taxonomic Advisory!" Chinquapin 19(4): 27, 30.
  3. ^ J. Richard Abbott (2011) "Notes on the disintegration of Polygala (Polygalaceae), with four new genera for the Flora of North America." Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas. 5(1): (5 Aug 2011), pp. 125-137

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