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Polygala vulgaris - L.

Common Name Milkwort, Common milkwort
Family Polygalaceae
USDA hardiness 5-9
Known Hazards Although no specific mention has been seen for this species, at least one member of this genus is said to be poisonous in large quantities.
Habitats Grassland on heaths, dunes etc[17], on acidic and alkaline soils[214].
Range Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia.
Edibility Rating    (1 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun
Polygala vulgaris Milkwort, Common milkwort


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Polygala vulgaris Milkwort, Common milkwort
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Fabelfroh

 

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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of flower
Polygala vulgaris is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in).
It is hardy to zone (UK) 6. It is in flower from May to September. The species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs).
Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

P. oxyptera.

Habitats

 Meadow;

Edible Uses

Edible Parts:
Edible Uses: Tea

The leaves are used as a tea substitute[177]. They are used to adulterate green China tea[2].

References

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.
Diaphoretic  Diuretic  Expectorant  Stimulant

The bitter-tasting milkwort has a reputation for increasing milk flow in nursing mothers, but this belief is in fact unfounded[254]. Whilst little used in modern herbalism, the root and aerial parts of the plant contain triterpenoid saponins which promote the clearing of phlegm from the bronchial tubes and so is a valuable herb for the treatment of respiratory problems such as chronic bronchitis, bronchial asthma and convulsive coughs such as whooping cough[254]. The plant is also thought to have sweat-inducing and diuretic properties[254].

References

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An important new book from PFAF. It focuses on the attributes of plants suitable for food forests, what each can contribute to a food forest ecosystem, including carbon sequestration, and the kinds of foods they yield. The book suggests that community and small-scale food forests can provide a real alternative to intensive industrialised agriculture, and help to combat the many inter-related environmental crises that threaten the very future of life on Earth.

Read More

FOOD FOREST PLANTS

Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References

Cultivation details

Prefers a moderately fertile moisture-retentive well-drained soil, succeeding in full sun if the soil remains moist throughout the growing season, otherwise it is best in semi-shade[200]. Dislikes shade according to another report. A very polymorphic species[200].

References

Temperature Converter

Type a value in the Celsius field to convert the value to Fahrenheit:

Fahrenheit:

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Propagation

Seed - sow spring or autumn in a cold frame[214]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. Division. Cuttings of young shoots in a frame in late spring[1].

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Polygala amaraBitter MilkwortPerennial0.2 5-9  LMHSNM01 
Polygala japonica Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM12 
Polygala reinii Perennial0.3 -  LMHSNM01 
Polygala senegaSenega Snake RootPerennial0.3 -  LMHSNDM03 
Polygala sibiricaYuan ZhiPerennial0.2 -  LMHSNDM13 
Polygala tenuifoliaYuan ZhiPerennial0.2 5-9  LMHSNM13 
Polygala theezans Perennial0.0 -  LMHSNM10 
Securidaca longipedunculataViolet TreeTree6.0 10-12  LMHSNM143

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Expert comment

Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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